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Tiverton and Honiton Liberal Democrats

What do our local councils do?

June 11, 2020 1:54 PM
By Mark Wooding
Originally published by Central Devon Liberal Democrats

We are all familiar with the idea that we have an MP (Member of Parliament) who represents us in the Westminster Parliament, but many of us are confused about the other types of representation we enjoy. So here is our 'quick guide' to Parish, District and County Councils, the Police and Crime Commissioner and the National Parks Authority. These bodies are supposed to represent your, and your family's, best interests.

So, it is important to vote!


The Parish Council

In the UK the Parish Council is the smallest representative, and administrative, unit of government. The Parish Council is usually based on a small geographic unit, such as a hamlet, village or town district, which often aligns with the area covered by a local church. This is the reason they are called 'Parish' councils. Parish Councils normally represent 500 - 1000 voters, and their families.

Consisting of about half a dozen people elected by the local community (you may well know a neighbour or friend who is a Parish Councillor) Parish Councils have real power, and spending authority. Indeed, you may be surprised at the influence your local Parish Council has. For example:

Perhaps a lot more than you realised! So if you want to make a difference in your local community the next time there are elections why not stand as a Parish Councillor?

For information on your local Parish Council

East Devon - https://eastdevon.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/parish-and-town-councils/find-my-town-or-parish-clerk-details/

Mid Devon - https://www.middevon.gov.uk/your-council/town-parish-councils/contact-details/

West Devon - https://www.westdevon.gov.uk/contactyourparishcouncil

Teignbridge - https://democracy.teignbridge.gov.uk/mgParishCouncilDetails.aspx?bcr=1

The next representative tier is:

The District Council (Borough Council / City Council)

In Central Devon there are four District Councils - East Devon, Mid Devon, West Devon, and Teignbridge.

District Councils (sometimes called Borough Councils or City Councils) represent a much larger geographic area than Parish Councils, but still hopefully an area that shares common interests and issues. District Councils have budgets in the 10s of £ millions and are responsible for some of our most essential services.