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How do they make decisions?

                                                             Your parish or town council is made up of
                                                             a number of councillors who meet regularly
                                                             to make decisions on the work and direction
                                                             of the council. As elected bodies parish and
                                                             town councils are responsible to the people
                                                             they represent – that’s your local community.

                                                             Attending a council meeting is the best way
                                                             to find out what they do. Give the council a
                                                             call and find out when its next public meeting
                                                             is scheduled to take place.

                                             Where do they get their
                                             money from?

                                                             Each year a sum of money called a ‘precept’
                                                             is collected through your council tax. This
                                                             money is used by your parish or town council
                                                             to improve facilities and services for local
                                                             people. Parish or town councils can also apply
                                                             for grants and loans and, if they own property,
                                                             can receive money from rents or leases.

Case study: Garden service,
Eastwood Town Council

Number of councillors: 15
Size of electorate: 7,800

Eastwood Town Council has, for many
years, run a free garden maintenance
service for disabled and elderly residents.
The council started the service when
councillors realised that many of its
disabled and elderly residents were unable
to maintain their gardens. This meant that
some residents were less able to enjoy the
open air, their personal safety was at risk
and difficulties often arose with adjoining
properties. The council responded by
paying for a local contract gardener to visit
residents two or three times a year to tidy
and maintain their gardens. Importantly, the
service is not just about gardening, but also
provides a social benefit by ensuring that
personal contact is maintained with people
in need of support.

                                                                           All about parish and town councils 3
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