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About Parish And Town Councils

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What is a local council and what does it do?

There are many types of local councils, all with different responsibilities. The thing they have in common is that they all provide local services for local people.

There are around 8,500 local councils representing around 16 million people across England and they form the most local tier of government making decisions on behalf of their residents. In Worcestershire there are three levels of local government; parish and town councils are known as the first and most local level of government. The next level is the district councils which cover an area that includes a number of parish councils whilst the county council covers the whole of Worcestershire. There are six district councils in Worcestershire - Bromsgrove, Malvern Hills, Redditch Borough, Worcester City, Wychavon and Wyre Forest.

Parish and town councils were established by the Local Government Act of 1894 and there are 150 parish and town councils and 10 parish meetings in the county. There is no legal difference between a parish and a town council; they both have the same powers and functions, the only difference is in the name and the fact that the chairman of a town council is referred to as the town mayor.

The main role of parish and town councils is set out in law and they have a wide range of functions and powers to provide a variety of local services. Parish and town councils also have by law the right to be asked about their view on some services that are the responsibility of other levels of local government.

Their work falls into three main categories -

  • Representing the local community.
  • Delivering services to meet local needs
  • Striving to improve the quality of life in the local area

Each year a sum of money raised locally called a ‘precept’ is collected through the council tax. This money is invested back into the local neighbourhood by the local council to improve facilities and services. Local councils can also apply for grants and loans and, if they own property, can receive money from rents or leases.

 Councils usually meet once a month and meetings may last two or three hours depending on what is to be discussed. In addition to regular meetings a number of councils have additional meetings to look at specific areas or services.

Council meetings are open to the public,and the annual parish or town meeting for all parish/town electors has to be held, by law, every year between 1st March and 1st June.

 The purpose of a local council is to improve the lives of people in their local community and to give their local community a voice and the means to achieve this.

 

Newsflash

DKE AUDIT SERVICES

INTERNAL AUDITOR & INDEPENDENT EXAMINER

Specialist provider to Parish Councils, Small Public Sector, Charitable, Community and Voluntary Organisations

DUNCAN EDWARDS

email: dkeauditservices@btinternet.com

Phone: 07759 171030

Endorsed by Worcestershire CALC

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Newsflash

“Don’t forget to register for the Worcestershire County Council BUDGET ENGAGEMENT MEETING at 6pm on 23 January at County Hall.

Each year the Council holds a series of meetings with representatives from the community to discuss its proposed budget plans and the possible impact this may have locally. Michael Hudson, Chief Financial Officer would like to invite you to the budget engagement briefing for Parish & Town Councils and Voluntary & Community Sector at County Hall, Worcester on Wednesday, 23 January 2019 at 6.00pm. We would welcome the opportunity to talk to you about the Council's proposals for 2019/20 and answer the questions you may have at the meeting.

There are a limited number of spaces available, so we would be grateful if you could send only one representative from your organisation, who can feed back to colleagues. We will operate on a first come, first served basis so a speedy response is recommended.

Please contact Deborah Dale at Worcestershire County Council by Friday 11 January 2019 to register your attendance:

Email: ddale@worcestershire.gov.uk Telephone: 01905 846282”

 

NB   SECTION 137 LIMIT FOR 2019-20

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has confirmed that the appropriate sum for parish councils for the purposes of

Section 137(4)(a)of the Local Government Act 1972 for 2019-20 is £8.12