Town and Parish Councils
In Somerset, from 1 April 2023, there are two tiers of local government: Unitary Council (Somerset Council) and town/parish councils.
Town and parish councils are an essential to local democracy and
have an important role in shaping the communities they represent
• giving views, on behalf of the community, on planning applications and other proposals
• undertaking projects and schemes to benefit local residents
• working in partnership with other bodies to benefit residents
• alerting relevant authorities to problems that arise
• and helping the other tiers of local government keep in touch with their local communities.
Town and parish councils have a wide range of powers which essentially relate to local matters, such as looking after community buildings, open space, allotments, play areas, street lighting, bus shelters, car parks and much more. They also have the power to raise money through taxation, known as the 'precept'. The precept is the parish council's share of the council tax. The precept demand goes to the billing authority (Somerset Counci form 1 April 2023) which collects the tax for the parish council.