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Welcome to
West Somerset Council

Parish and Town Councils

Parish or Town Councils are the most local level of government in England.

They are independent of other levels of local government, ie. 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.

Parish Councillors

Councillors have an active interest and concern for their local community. They represent local people and work in partnership with them and others when necessary. They help facilitate the provision of local services and facilities and take decisions that form the policy of the Council.

Councillors are not paid and have to abide by a local government code of conduct and declare their financial interests in the parish. Councillors must also declare a personal or prejudicial interest in any matter under discussion at a parish council meeting.

Parish and Town Council Charter

A copy of a Parish and Town Council Charter to formalise the relationship between the District and Parish Councils is under Related Documents.

The Charter was created partly as a response to the consultation over office centralisation where there was some misunderstanding over the relative roles of our councils.  The Charter also reflects the good practice which is already in place within the District for communication between the different tiers of local government.