What is a Parish Council?

A Parish Council has formed the 'grass roots' tier of civil government since 1894.  It acts as the voice of its local community, passing parishioners' opinions and views on to higher levels of government and other bodies.  Its powers are defined and granted by acts of Parliament.

 A Parish Council’s expenditure must be made in accordance with the acts of Parliament.  Its accounts must be made public to parishioners and they are strictly audited by government appointed auditors.  A Parish Council may be concerned with ‘parochial charities’ – charities ‘the benefits of which are confined to the inhabitants of the parish’.  Parish Councils may spend additional money on other items and initiatives for ‘any purpose which in its opinion is of direct benefit to its area or to the inhabitants. 

Parish Councils have limited tax raising powers and have the ‘general powers to make byelaws for the good rule and government of its area’. 

The next level of local government above Parish Councils is the district authority or council – in our case this is Aylesbury Vale District Council.  The district council has responsibility for areas such as local planning, education, highways, environmental services and housing.

The next tier of local governance (the last before national government ) is the County Council – in our case this is Buckinghamshire County Council.  County Council’s responsibilities include education, highways and waste disposal. 

You can get a better idea of what Grendon Underwood Parish Council is doing for you by regularly watching this site and you are always welcome at the Parish Council Meetings.