Parish and town councils

Information about what parish and town councils do, and find out about the parish charter and plans.

There are 731 parishes in North Yorkshire. Not all parishes have a parish council as some have grouped councils and others only have parish meetings.

Parish or town councils are the most local level of government in England. They are independent of other levels of local government, i.e. district and county councils, however they maintain a close working relationship with both. 

The services provided by parish councils vary depending on how large and how active the councils are. Some meet infrequently and are actively involved in very few matters, whilst others undertake many duties such as street lighting, managing cemeteries, allotments, commons, village halls, war memorials and markets etc.

Councillors are not paid and have to abide by a local government code of conduct and declare a personal or prejudicial interest if they have an interest in any matter under discussion at a parish council meeting.

Parish clerk information

You can find contact information for parish clerks via our parish clerk database. Use the button below to access the database:

Parish clerk information

Parish charter

The purpose of our  parish charter (pdf / 68 KB) is to set out the working relationship between ourselves and parish/town councils and parish meetings. It includes a number of general principles and covers a common set of topics, such as consultation, information and complaints and service delivery. 

Parish plans

We are committed to working with parishes both during the development of their parish plans and, once completed, in ensuring that any completed plans are formally acknowledged and any actions requiring our consideration are shared with the relevant departments. View the  parish planning guide (pdf / 395 KB) for further information.

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