How We Work
Civil parish councils were formed in England under the reforming Local Government Act 1894 to take over local oversight of civic duties in rural towns and villages.
There are over 9,000 parish and town councils in England and they form the tier of local government closest to the people. The term "town council" is synonymous with "parish council" in that any parish council can style itself "town council" if it considers it appropriate so to do. Collectively, parish and town councils are often termed "local councils".
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.
Parish councils are funded by levying a "precept" collected with the Council Tax paid by the residents of the parish.
Parish councils have unpaid councillors who are elected to serve for four years. Chideock has 7 councillor positions, and at least 3 must be present at a meeting of the full council, a committee or a sub-committee, in order for it to legally take place.