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What is a Parish Council?

A Parish Council is the first tier of local government and is a statutory body. The Council serve the local electorate and are independently elected and raise their own funds through the precept (a form of council tax). There are approximately 10,000 local councils in England.


Parish councils work towards improving community well-being and providing better services. Their activities fall into three main categories: representing the local community; delivering services to meet local needs where needed; striving to improve quality of life and community well-being.


Through an extensive range of discretionary powers Parish Councils can provide and maintain (where possible) a variety of important and visible local services including allotments, bridleways, burial grounds, bus shelters, car parks, commons and open spaces, community transport schemes, community safety and crime reduction measures, events and festivals, footpaths, leisure and sports facilities, litter bins, public toilets, planning, street cleaning and lighting, tourism activities, traffic calming measures, village greens and youth projects.


The number of Parish Councilors for a Civil Parish is determined by law. Each parish council has a Clerk who administers the Council's affairs. Very often, (but not always) the Clerk is also the Responsible Financial Officer. This is the case with Azerley Parish Council.


The Azerley Parish Council normally meets six times year. Once a year there is an Annual Meeting of the Parish Council, this is in the summer. A list of meeting dates can be found on the Meetings page.