Council structure

3. Parish councils

Parish or Town Councils are the most local level of government in England. They are independent of other levels of local government, i.e. District and County Council, however they maintain a close working relationship with both. The powers of Parishes vary depending on how large and how 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 etc.

A database is available showing contact details for all Parish and Town Councils and Parish Meetings. Details are viewable by Parish and by Clerk. Printer labels for each district, and a complete list is also available:

Parish Database

Parishes in this context are secular arms of government, not ecclesiastical parishes.

Common Parish Council powers include:

  • Allotments
  • Baths and Washhouses
  • Burial grounds, cemeteries and crematoria
  • Bus Shelters
  • Clocks
  • Closed Churchyards
  • Commons and common pastures
  • Community centres
  • Education - appoint school governors
  • Highways
  • Litter Bins (provision of)
  • Mortuaries and post mortem rooms
  • Open spaces - obtain and maintain
  • Public Conveniences
  • Town planning - right to be consulted
  • Transport
  • War memorials

If you cannot contact a Parish or Town Council directly please speak to:

Buckinghamshire Association of Local Councils
County Hall
HP20 1UA

Telephone: 01296 383154
Fax: 01296 387966

Print entire guide

Last updated: 12 March 2019

Was this page helpful?

Very poor
Neither good nor poor
Very good