Dalton-le-Dale Parish Council
Dalton-le-Dale Parish Council has nine members based on population and electorate. The parish council meets on the third Monday of each month (except December and August) in the Parish Hall in Dalton-le-Dale at 7 p.m. Other meetings can be convened if necessary to deal with items of urgent business.
The Council's Annual Meeting is held in May, along with the statutory Annual Meeting of Electors, where registered electors of the parish may attend and receive the Annual Report of the Chairman and the council's published accounts. Electors can also question members on matters of interest. All meetings of the parish council are open to electors and every agenda gives the opportunity for residents to bring matters of concern to the attention of members of the council and to question them.
Parish Council History
Parish council roots go back to Middle Ages when village meetings were held in churches, hence the name 'Parish' Council, which is not to be confused with the ecclesiastical meetings of Parochial Church Councils. Meetings were usually held in the church vestry and were often known as vestry meetings.
Parish councils were formalised by Act of Parliament in 1894, and today around 8,500 exist in England and Wales (where they are known as Community Councils).
Dalton-le-Dale celebrated its centenary in 1996 with a service in St. Andrews's Church.
Parish Council Functions
Parish councils generally form part of the British Local Government system and work in partnership with other local authorities, i.e. Unitary Authorities (large all-purpose Councils such as Sunderland, Newcastle and Durham County Council). In Dalton-le-Dale's case, our principle council is Durham County Council.
Parish powers are largely discretionary and usually of a community and environmental nature. Some of the larger parishes (such as Seaham and Peterlee) have developed more extensive functions, though this ability is of course determined mainly by finance. Recent and pending legislation will empower parish councils to provide greater services at a local level in partnership with their principle authority and offers an exciting opportunity for ambitious and forward thinking councils.