What we do

The role of Local Councils

Local Councils (known in England as parish, town, community, neighbourhood or village Councils) are statutory bodies conisisting of elected members of the community.

Formed by legislation in 1894, there are approximately 9,000 Local Councils in England.    

They are the first tier of local government.


Councils represent their constituents in delivery services and financial supporting local organisations.

In order to carry out the functions of the Council it has certain legal duties and statutory powers.

The Local Government Association has information about Councillors roles https://www.local.gov.uk/our-support/guidance-and-resources/councillors-guide-201718/councillors-role

Functions, powers and duties of Local Councils

The Department for Communities and Local Government
published a list of legal duties placed on local authorities.


The Council must appoint: Chairman – The election of the Chairman of a local council by and from amount the other councillors must be the first business of the annual meeting of the Council, Local Government Act 1972, s15
Responsible Finance Officer (RFO) – Under the Local Government Act 1972, s151, a council must appoint a person to be responsible for the administation of its Financial Affairs.

Councils must comply with the Freedom of Information Act 2000
Data Protection Act 1998 which has now been superseded by the Equality Act 2010 and

Over the coming months Bickleigh Parish Council will be updating and reviewing its core documents, policies and procedures.


A Council must have a Code of Conduct which confirms the obligations of councillors when they are representing the Council. Local Government Act 2011, S 27(2). Bickleigh Parish Council’s Code of Conduct was adopted in July 2012.