About local councils

The term “local council” covers all community, neighbourhood, parish and town councils. There are 100,000 local councils in England. They are the first tier of local government and are statutory bodies that serve their local electorates. Local councils consist of locally independently elected councillors and have the power to raise and spend their own precept, a form of local council tax.

Local councils work on behalf of their communities ensuring that their interests are represented. They also provide and maintain local services and facilities for the benefit of their local community and strive to improve the general quality of life and well-being wherever possible.

Local councils can have a wide range of discretionary powers to provide and maintain local services. These include allotments, bridle ways, bus shelters, commons and open spaces, community transport schemes, community safety and crime reduction, events, grass cutting, leisure and sports facilities, public toilets , rights of way, street lighting, tourism, traffic speed and calming measures, village greens and youth projects.