General information on Parish and Town Councils
Last updated: 16/03/2012
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Cornwall has 213 parish and town councils, 28
of which are town councils and 1 city council.
What is a town/parish council?
A parish or town council is an elected local
authority. They are the first tier of local government and
play a vital role in engaging with local people and helping to
shape their communities.
What do they do?
Local councils have a variety of
duties vested in them through Acts of Parliament. However
not all parish and town councils decide to exercise all these
Some focus on their representative role,
campaigning on local issues and lobbying other agencies to take
action. Others carry out an enabling role, funding local
projects and organisations, whilst some provide services and
amenities from allotments to bus shelters, recreational areas and
play areas. Parish and town councils in Cornwall differ in
size and capacity and this has been acknowledged in the Active
Delivering sites for Affordable Housing in partnership with
Town and Parish Council's
This guide identifies how the Council is establishing a delivery
method for Cornwall in response to Matthew Taylor’s Review - Living
Following the formation of Cornwall Council as a unitary
authority last year we are now developing the best of the six
former district and borough councils rural enabling methodologies.
Around Cornwall more than a dozen parishes have completed
innovative projects to deliver affordable housing based on parish
plans and several more are currently underway. We intend to make a
step change in this engagement and would welcome more parish and
town councils to take part. By refining current methods we are
creating a countywide approach and using new opportunities for
innovative working partnerships which combine landowners,
developers, housing associations and town and parish councils.
Cornwall Council is drafting a Local Delivery Framework and
rural housing will be a key element. A Core Strategy is programmed
for adoption by 2012 and preferred options for an affordable
housing Development Plan Document (DPD) is due to be published in
the Spring 2010. This will set out for the first time policy for a
countywide approach to rural affordable housing delivery. Rather
than wait until it is adopted, we will promote delivery of
affordable housing through increasing proactive engagement based on
local need and localism.
This guide identifies the opportunities for town and parish
councils to be supported so they can engage and lead in the
sites for Affordable Housing in partnership with Town and Parish
Councils (pdf document)
What is localism?
Localism is about bringing Cornwall
Council and its partners closer to communities. It’s a
vehicle which provides the different communities of Cornwall with
the opportunity to influence decision making, ensuring public
services reflect local circumstances. Parish and town
councils are key players in being able to deliver this localism
How do I contact my local council?
Please follow this link to the parish and town council contact
Parish and town council elections
Parish and town councillors are elected by
local residents, with elections taking place every four years. The
next election will be in May 2013.
Provide an opportunity for local
communities to identify issues of importance in their area, to
develop solutions to address these needs.
A parish plan is a statement of how the local
community sees itself developing over the next few years. They
should reflect the views of all sections of the community, identify
character and features which local people feel are important,
identify local problems and opportunities and say how the residents
want the community to develop.
Parish plans will feed into Community Network
Plans. Not only will this ensure that your community network
is taking account of local issues highlighted in these plans but it
will also assist the community network Panels in being able to
identify common themes in order to set realistic aims and
A number of parish and town councils in
Cornwall have produced their own parish plans. These are
displayed under the town or parish councils individual page.
If your local council has produced a parish plan and is omitted
from this list please contact your community network