I noted with interest Mr. Lawrence’s comment in the October Pump regarding parish councils, and I wondered if it might be helpful for readers to know very briefly something of the history and operation of PCs.
Parish Councils are not like any other village organisation; they are local government, the first of three tiers (the others being District and County) and their conduct is prescribed by law in the same way that Parliament’s is, though obviously with rather different levels of responsibility.
Parish Councils were first legislated for in the 1894 Local Government Act, which formalised their duties, powers, and restrictions. Subsequent Acts over the past century have continued to define how they must, may, and must not operate, and a very few provisions still remain from the 1894 Act. However, the most recent legislation which today governs almost all aspects of parish council operation is contained in the Local Government Act 1972 and the Localism Act 2011.
Parish councillors are elected or co-opted to represent the views and wishes of their electorate, and similarly are restricted, by law, in their actions.
If readers are interested in knowing some of the quirks and oddities of parish council remits, I’d be more than happy to write further.
Parish Councillor, Stoke Ferry