Roles & Responsibilities of a Council

A council is an ‘it’. In law, a council is a single corporate body and it is responsible for the decisions it makes as a whole.

The council is responsible for the services it provides. It decides how money will be raised and spent on behalf of the community. It is responsible for spending public money lawfully and without risk, and for achieving the best value for money.

The council represents and serves the whole community.

Parish councils are local authorities first created by statute in 1894. Parliament has given parish councils the power to raise and spend money – a power shared by other local authorities.

There are four tiers of local government: the parish council, a district authority (borough or district council), a county council and regional government.

Powers and Statute

Parish councils are creatures of statute . They are set up and controlled by Acts of Parliament.

Parish councils can do only what they have been given a specific power to do by statute.


Procedures helps the council to act in a legal and consistant manner; they protect councillors and clerks from legal challenges and critism from public and the auditors.

Procedures protect the council from making unlawful decisions and support good chairmanship.


Agendas for meetings are placed on the parish noticeboards and on the website.


The parish council has a legal duty to keep records of its meetings. Minutes are a legal record which can be used as evidence in a court of law


Financial Procedures

The clerk prepares Annual Accounts that are approved by the council.

An Annual Audit is held.