Parish councils

The rise of the ‘super’ parish council


With figures showing parish precepts have risen by 4.9% this year, Neil Merrick explores how parish councils are using the extra revenue to deliver increased and better services.

Town clerk jailed for defrauding council


An assistant town clerk has been jailed for four years for stealing more than £200,000 from Rugeley Town Council.

Charter trustees have ‘had their day’, says local council body


The body representing local councils has urged the Government to abolish charter trustees by the end of the next parliament.

Parish councils protest against airport expansion


A group of parish councils have protested at plans to expand Bristol Airport on the grounds that it will increase traffic and damage the environment.

Clerks and councillors: Raising their game


Neil Merrick outlines the five key areas that parish and town councillors should be trained in.

Welsh community councils criticised for management ‘failures’


Four community councils in Wales have been criticised for ‘failures’ in governance and financial management.

Welsh local councils accused of operating in 'secretive ways'


Local councils in Wales have been accused of being 'secretive' and anti-democratic after research revealed not all provide electronic access to minutes and meetings.

Parish councils and the devolution of services


Neil Merrick finds out why some parish councils are doubling or trebling council tax precepts after taking on services from higher tier authorities.

Parish councils to ‘re-think’ role after Brexit


Community council leaders have announced they will be starting a ‘big, radical conversation’ on the role of parish councils in the post-Brexit local government landscape.

Parish and town councils welcome ‘fair funding’ letter


The Government has written to billing authorities urging then to reconsider passing local council tax support on to parish and town councils.

Local councils prepare to lobby MPs for extra powers


Town and parish councils are calling for new powers to be handed to them following Brexit in what they see as the next stage in local government devolution.

Councillors to be equipped with 'community organising' skills


A new partnership will soon equip councillors with ‘community organising’ skills to help them engage more effectively with their local communities.

Power in the country lanes


Mark Whitehead finds out why smaller councils are taking on bigger roles in terms of responsibilities and delivering services.

Parish councils face £3.5m yearly bill over new data protection rules


It will cost parish councils over £3.5m a year to implement new data rules, the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has warned.

Councillors agree to creation of new Durham City authority


A new parish council is to be created for Durham City after councillors voted in favour of the proposal.

Local people should have control over new housing, argues think tank


Up to five million new homes could be built if people in individual streets were given control over planning permission, according to the Adam Smith Institute.

Why parish councils are getting involved in planning


Neil Merrick explores how parish and town councils are throwing off their 'Nimby' image through the use of neighbourhood planning.

The changing face of parish councils


Neil Merrick explores the expansion of parish council duties – and the subsequent rise in precepts.

Durham residents back creation of new parish council


Residents in Durham have voted in favour of creating a new parish council for the city.

Residents pass vote of no confidence in Desborough Council


Local residents have passed a vote of no confidence in Desborough Town Council, after their council tax precept was increased by 422%.

Deptford bids to ‘get back its mojo’ with new parish council


A campaign has been launched to establish London’s second parish council under the Localism Act.

Local councils warn court closures will have a negative impact on access to justice


The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has demanded that the Government puts a halt to its plan to close and integrate local courts and tribunals across England and Wales.

New parish council set for Sutton Coldfield


Plans to create a new town council in Sutton Coldfield have moved a step closer, following Birmingham City Council’s recommendation to set up a new parish council.

Thurrock rejects parish council plans


Councillors in Thurrock have narrowly decided against establishing a new parish council for a housing estate in the Essex borough despite two consultations coming out in favour of the proposal.

Residents vote to abolish Brierley Town Council


Residents have voted in favour of scrapping a town council in south Yorkshire, after its town clerk was jailed for fraud and theft in 2013.

Council agendas modernised under new reforms


Councils will now be allowed to send agendas and meeting papers electronically, ending an out-dated ‘budgetary burden’.

Creation of new town and parish councils simplified


From today it will be easier for communities to set up new town and parish councils, under measures intended to remove ‘bureaucratic burdens’.

Watchdog raises accountability concerns in final report


Only 11% of parish councils - 1,015 in total - had their accounts qualified in 2013/14 - according to a new report from the Audit Commission.

'Short changed' parishes demand action over government funding


Parish councils are demanding urgent action to ensure that local authorities pass on £9m of government funding they say is earmarked for them.

123 civil parishes to be changed in Cheshire West and Chester


Cheshire West and Chester Council has announced 123 civil parishes will be changed following a major review.

Minister to write to councils over parish funding


A Government minister has criticised some local authorities for ‘failing to pass sufficient money down to parish councils’.

New town council in Cumbria


The Cumbrian town of Whitehaven is the latest community in England to get the go ahead for a new town council following a campaign to give local people more power.

‘Golden opportunity’ missed after Government rejects business rate share for local councils


The Government has rejected proposals to hand town and parish councils a share of business rates to boost their role in economic development.

Parish councils should receive fracking payments says NALC


Parish and town councils should receive at least £20,000 from fracking companies, according to the National Association of Local Councils (NALC).

Local audit plans could place ‘much greater burden’ on councils


Auditors have slammed plans to reform how parish councils are held to account, branding Government proposals overly ‘complex’.

Bleadon becomes first parish to use Sustainable Communities Act


Local councils will soon be able to send agendas electronically rather than by post thanks to a change triggered by a parish in Somerset.

Funding boost to support largest new parish council


Local campaigners looking to set up England’s biggest parish council have been given a cash boost from the National Association of Local Councils (NALC).

Billing authorities urged to pass on funding to local councils


Seventeen local authorities have been accused of refusing to pass down £4.8m government funding to local councils, according to the National Association of Local Councils (NALC).

Game of Thrones name-change set for Hertfordshire village


A Hertfordshire village is changing its name to celebrate the third series of HBO’s fantasy tv series Game of Thrones.

Localism's elephant in the room


Why local councils can no longer be masters of their own destiny.

What are parish councils?


What are parish councils?

'Unreasonable' cheque burden to be lifted from parish councils


The requirement for every cheque payment made by a parish council to be signed by two members is finally expected to be lifted.

Parish council responsibilities


What powers and duties do parish councils have?

New measures make it easier to create new parish councils


It will be easier to create a new parish council in the future, under new measures announced by local government minister, Don Foster.

Auditor finds government fails at Kirby Muxloe Parish Council


Kirby Muxloe Parish Council failed to have effective arrangements for corporate government in place, according to a report from the Audit Commission.

Pickles tells parish councils to rethink council tax hikes


Communities secretary Eric Pickles has told parish councils to rethink average 3% hikes to their council tax precept - which he said are outstripping levies raised by the rest of local government.

Pickles rejects calls to 'protect' parish councils from funding cuts


Local government secretary Eric Pickles has rejected pleas from parish councils to end an anomaly in which they stand to lose as much as a third of their precept income due to council tax benefit changes.

Declaring a climate change emergency image

Declaring a climate change emergency

Local authorities can play a key role in tackling climate change – and there is plenty for them to do. Never before has thinking globally and acting locally been more important, says Mark Whitehead.
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