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Parish and Town Councils and Councillors

Parish or Town Councils are the most local level of government in England.

Town Councils

They are independent of other levels of local government (e.g District and County Council) - however, they maintain a close working relationship with both.

Powers of Parish Councils vary depending on how large and active they are. Some meet infrequently (but at least four times a year, including one public meeting) and are responsible for very few matters. Other larger parishes undertake many duties such as street lighting, managing cemeteries, allotments, commons, village halls, war memorials and markets.

Councillors have an active interest and concern for their local community. They represent local people and work in partnership with them and others when necessary. They also help to facilitate the provision of local services and facilities and take decisions that form the policy of the Council.

They are not paid, and have to abide by a local government code of conduct and declare their financial interests in the parish. Councillors must also declare a personal or prejudicial interest in any matter under discussion at a parish council meeting.