Parish Councils in England - History

History

Parish councils were formed in England under the Local Government Act 1894 to take over local oversight of civic duties in rural towns and villages. Before this date a variety of groups based around ecclesiastical parishes had responsibility for these matters, in a system of local government that originated in the feudal system of the 8th century. Their areas of responsibility were known as civil parishes and they were grouped together to form rural districts. Civil parishes existed in urban districts, but did not have parish councils.

Following the Local Government Act 1972, many small towns which had previously formed municipal boroughs or urban districts became "successor parishes" within larger districts. Since the enactment of the Local Government and Rating Act 1997, district and unitary councils may create a parish council for a new civil parish either through a review or in response to a petition. This has led to the creation of new parish councils at an increased rate, especially in large towns and cities which do not have a history of parish governance.

Read more about this topic:  Parish Councils In England

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