Parish and town councils

Find out about parish and town councils, including how to contact your parish clerk.

Parish or town councils are the most local level of government in England. They are independent of other levels of local government, however they maintain a close working relationship with us. 

There are 731 parishes in North Yorkshire. Some parish councils in our county are known as town or city councils, but have the same role as a parish council.

Not all parishes have a parish council. Some smaller ones only have parish meetings. Other small parishes may work together with neighbouring parishes to run a grouped, joint or common parish council.

Parish Charter

You can find out how local city, town and parish councils and meetings work together with North Yorkshire Council in the Parish Charter.

Parish clerk information

Your first point of contact at a parish council should be your parish clerk. You can find contact information for parish clerks on our edemocracy website.

Open parish clerk information

What do parish councils do?

The services provided by parish councils vary depending on how large and how active the councils are. Some do not meet very often, and are not very active. Other larger parish councils carry out many duties such as street lighting, managing cemeteries, allotments, commons, village halls, war memorials and markets.

Councillors are usually elected every four years. They are not paid, although they may claim expenses, and they have to obey a local government code of conduct. Each parish council may have its own code of conduct which you can consult either on the parish council website for your area, or by contacting the parish clerk.

Parish councillors must declare a personal or prejudicial interest if they have an interest in any matter under discussion at a parish council meeting.

Parish council documents

Most parish council documents can be found by visiting your parish council website.

You can view documents for the following parish councils in our parish council document library:

  • Barton
  • Birdsall
  • Brompton on Swale
  • Brough with St Giles
  • Byland with Wass and Oldstead
  • Croft-on-Tees
  • Eppleby
  • Hunsingore, Walshford and Cattal
  • Hudswell
  • Melmerby and Middleton Quernhow
  • Muker
  • Nunnington
  • Scagglethorpe
  • Stanwick St John
  • Stapleton and Cleasby
  • St Martins
  • Warthill
  • Wintringham