- Corporate body
Parish councils were formed under the Local Government Act 1894. They took over the civic and social welfare duties of existing groups hitherto based around ecclesiastical parishes (notably the overseers of the poor). Records of parish charities managing commons under distribution of land as a consequence of the Enclosure Acts can often be found in parish council records.
They are elected bodies, usually on a four year cycle. The number of councilors varies according to the population of the parish.
Parish Councils tend to be responsible for the provision of such facilities as village halls, recreation grounds and children's play areas. They have a legal right to be consulted and to comment on all planning applications in their areas.