The Parish Council

What is a Parish Council?

They are the first tier of governance and are the first point of contact for anyone concerned with a community issue. They are democratically elected local authorities and exist in England, Wales and Scotland. The term 'local council' is synonymous with 'parish council', 'town council' and 'community council'.

There are over 10,000 local councils in England and Wales, representing the concerns of local residents and providing services to meet local needs. Parish councils have a wide range of powers including looking after community buildings, planning, street lighting, allotments. They also have the power to raise money through council tax. See the full list of parish council responsibilities here.

Local councils are made up of locally elected councillors. They are legally obliged to hold at least one meeting a year. Most meet on a six-weekly cycle to discuss council business and hear from local residents. In addition to this, any committees or sub-committees dealing with specific subjects must also hold regular open sessions.

The funding for parish councils is allocated by the district council and is taken from the area’s council tax; this is called an annual precept. The income and expenditure for the next financial year are calculated in the form of estimates and this amount is added to the local council tax and then returned to the parishes in two yearly installments.

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) represents town and parish councils in England and Wales.

At local level county-based Association of Local Councils provide information on issues affecting this first tier of local government. We are represented by the Sussex and Surrey Associations of Local Councils (SSALC).

The diversity of parish councils is their strength. Each can make a unique contribution to the needs of their local community with a sensitivity that may be more difficult for other councils to achieve. At their heart, they are genuinely ‘local councils’.

Woolbeding with Redford Parish Council

Woolbeding with Redford Parish Council Meetings are usually held in the last week of every other month at 7:30pm in Redford Village Hall. As well as the councillors we usually have a representative from West Sussex County Council, Chichester District Council and the National Trust.

Members of the public and press are very welcome to attend. If you wish to comment on an Agenda item please speak to the chairman or clerk before the meeting.

Every year, in March, the Annual Parish Meeting is held. At this meeting no business is discussed, instead a guest speaker is invited to come along and speak on a topic we hope will be of interest to Parishioners. The meeting is followed by a social event, with refreshments, to enable Parishioners, Councillors and the Guest Speaker (if he/she is able to stay) to discuss any Parish matters. At this meeting the Chairman presents the Annual Report.

If you would like more information please email the clerk or call 01730 814384