What Powers does the Parish Council Have?
Parish Councils have a wide range of powers related to local matters, such as looking after community buildings, open space, allotments, play areas, street lighting, bus shelters, car parks and much more. The council also has the power to raise money through taxation, the precept. The precept is the parish council’s share of the council tax. The precept demand goes to the billing authority, the district council, which collects the tax for the parish council.
What Decisions does the Parish Council Make?
Parish councils make all kinds of decisions on issues that affect the local community. Probably the most common topics that Parish Councils get involved with are planning matters (they are statutory consultees), crime prevention, helping local groups, managing open spaces and play areas, managing cemeteries and campaigning for and delivering better services and facilities.
It’s true to say that on their own, Parish councils have limited powers to make decisions. However they do have the ability to negotiate with, and the power to influence, those other organisations that do make the final decisions (such as the unitary council, health authorities, police etc).
In this respect parish councils are extremely powerful. The organisations that make the final decisions know that a Parish Council gives the best reflection of how a community feels about something, and its views will be taken seriously.
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