There are over 9,000 parish and town councils in England and they form the tier of local government closest to the people.
Parish and town councils are local authorities and have a limited number of duties. They do, however, have wide powers, should they decide to use them and they may, with agreement of the district or county council, exercise certain functions normally carried out by those councils.
By their very nature, parish and town councils should maintain a close relationship with the local community. They encourage the public to attend council meetings as observers and they are obliged to organise at least one town or parish meeting each year which all local electors may attend and may raise issues of local concern.