Parish Council

Origin and role of Parish Councils

In centuries past, the absence of any developed system of local government meant that Church of England (C of E) parishes (often in conjunction with a prominent local landowner), represented the only ‘natural’ authority in many villages in England and Wales. Over time, the charitable activities of many parishes, e.g. caring for the poor, became a formal responsibility, i.e. with the introduction of the Elizabethan system of Poor Relief. By Victorian times church parishes were beginning to accrue responsibility for wider local services, e.g. basic schooling and highways, which were increasingly regarded as needing to be a civil, rather than church, responsibility.

The need for a formal system of civil local government was finally recognised in the Local Government Act of 1894, which created the system of Parish and Town Councils we have today. In setting them up, it is perhaps not surprising that their boundary areas often closely matched well established church parish boundaries – by which communities already identified themselves. That said, and despite use of the word ‘parish’ in their title, Parish Councils have no responsibility for church affairs.

Parish  (or in larger communities Town) Councils form the bottom tier of Local Government; their role being to allow communities to have a say in how some of their local affairs are conducted, and to otherwise liaise with higher tiers of government.

Morville Parish Council

Our Council has 12 Councillors, who are all unpaid volunteers, and 1 Clerk, who is a paid employee of the Council.

The Council meets every 2 months to discuss a diverse range of issues such as road traffic issues, assistance to local groups and charities, planning applications, and any other local matter that may arise.

Where a matter under discussion is not within our direct responsibility, we will make representations to those who do have responsibility for it. For example, we provide formal comment on all local planning applications to Shropshire Council and maintain regular contact with our local Shropshire Councillor, Robert Tindall.

Public Participation

Members of the public are encouraged to raise any issues of local concern with the Council, either via an approach to an individual councillor or The Clerk.

The public are welcome to attend meetings of the Council but should note that they cannot normally participate in the meeting itself. However, where a matter is clearly of  local concern, or in response to a specific request, it is our practice to temporarily suspend the formal meeting to allow members of the public to address councillors.

The Annual Parish Meeting, held in May every year, is used to provide a summary of Council activities. Members of the public with an interest in Council affairs are particularly encouraged to attend this meeting during which they can to raise any issue. These will be minuted as the meeting is specifically for the general public to raise any relevant matter they wish to discuss.

The Annual Parish Council Meeting is when Councillors are re-elected and/or voted to act as representatives to other bodies. Members of the public do not have any input to this meeting..

All of our Councillors take a pride in the Parish, work hard to ensure the community is represented/supported and aim to provide good local amenities for the benefit of all.