New measures announced by the Government in 2013 will make it much easier to create a new parish council in the future. The measures include reducing the number of petition signatures needed from 10% of the local population to 7.5%. Community groups will also have the freedom to set up a parish or town council without a petition as long as they create a neighbourhood plan.
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.
How are Parish Councils funded?
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. They can also apply for UK grants and funding and EU money under Objectives 1 and 2.