History of Parish Councils

Parish Councils first came into existence in 1894, the council is a statutory body and is generally know as the first tier of local government as it is closest to the electorate.  The council is a corporate body, members cannot act on their own and must abide by the majority decisions.  The council can discharge some of their functions by delegating to a committee, a sub-committee, an officer of the authority (normally the clerk) or another local authority.  The main purpose of the council is to give a ‘grass roots’ service to the community as a whole.  The parish council operates under legislation from parliament for example the Local Government Act 1972 and the Parish Councils Act 1957.  It is the council’s responsibility to act lawfully and abide by the policies and procedures set for the council.    The council is also responsible for any activities and decisions made by members and employees.  Employees such as the clerk may carry out duties, but must not take over the responsibility of the council.  The parish council receives funding annually from the precept which is paid from the electorate, through the district council.