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Asked Questions

Want to know more about what a parish council does and its wider role in local government? Here’s some of the key information you need. If there’s a specific issue you need help with, please get in touch. 

What does the parish council do?

Parish councils are the first tier of local government. Broadly

speaking, they are responsible for representing the parish

community, delivering some local services and improving

community cohesion, wellbeing and quality of life.

Responsibilities can vary between councils, especially

between urban and rural areas. However, in general parish

councils directly oversee or represent local views on the

following areas:


  • Burial grounds & churchyard maintenance

  • Community views on planning applications

  • Maintenance of common areas, eg playgrounds,
    parkland & bridleways

  • Bus shelters, litter bins and monuments

  • Community and youth events

  • Signage and road safety measures

When does the council meet?

The council meets monthly, with the exception of August and December. Normally meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month and rotate between the parish’s various public halls. Occasionally the council meets in closed session, normally to agree the annual budget and other financial matters.


You can find details of the next public meeting here, including advance notice of meeting agendas. Full meeting minutes are published and archived here.

Are meetings open to the public?

Yes, we welcome parishioners and members of the public to attend meetings, especially to raise a specific concern or contribute to council discussions regarding a particular item on the agenda. 


It’s also worth noting that district councillors often attend parish council meetings, usually to discuss and liaise on planning issues. So it’s a good opportunity to meet with them if you’d like to have direct contact over a particular matter.

How is the parish council funded?

The council is funded by a ‘precept’, which is essentially a

parish tax that forms part of your overall council tax bill.

Each year the council agrees the required budget and

votes to set the precept level at a special meeting.

The council then formally requests the funds from the

county council budget. The council’s aim is always to

ensure there’s enough to cover local services and support

the community, whilst ensuring value for money for all



It’s also important to note that, with the exception of the

Parish Clerk, all councillors are unpaid volunteers, and that

strict controls are in place to ensure there are no financial

conflicts of interest in any areas of the council’s work.

Where do meetings take place?

Monthly meetings rotate between the parish’s various public halls, to reflect our commitment to all areas of the parish. These include St George’s Hall and Jubilee Hall in Blockley, Paxford Village Hall, Little Village Hall Blockley and Draycott Mission Hall.

I have an issue I’d like to raise. Who do I contact?

If you have a general query or issue for the council to consider, please contact the Parish Clerk, Ms Nikki Holt, on 01386 701602 or via email to


Please note the Parish Clerk’s working hours are Mon-Weds 9am-5pm.

What powers does the parish council have?

The council has the power to tax parishioners to support the

maintenance and wellbeing of the parish, as defined in the

1894 Local Government Act and subsequent legislation. 


This includes powers to provide a range of public facilities 

such as village halls, play areas and allotments. Councils are

also allowed to sponsor public events, fund crime prevention

measures and other community initiatives.


Parish councils are also a key consultative body when it

comes to planning. We must be consulted by either the

district or county council on all planning applications,

including proposals to carry out sewerage works and rights
of way surveys.

How can I stay informed about council activities?

Follow us on Facebook to keep regularly informed about council activities, as well as community initiatives and other local events that we support. 


We also publish a monthly article in The Voice magazine to summarise newsworthy developments.


Important updates concerning details of upcoming meetings, as well as public consultations are posted on the various public noticeboards around the parish.

I have an idea about how to improve life in the local community. Would the parish council like to hear it?

Yes, absolutely! We welcome your input and we’d love to hear your ideas about improving life in the community. Get in touch on our Facebook page, via email or at one of our monthly meetings.

What’s the difference between the
parish, district and county councils?

Parish, district and county councils are the different tiers

of local government in rural areas. They are all elected

bodies, each with a different yet related set of responsibilities.


County councils are responsible for services across the

whole of a county, like education, transport and highways,

fire and public safety, libraries and waste management.


Blockley Parish falls under the jurisdiction of 

Gloucestershire County Council.


District councils usually cover things like recycling and

rubbish collection, council tax, leisure facilities, housing

and planning applications.


Our parish is overseen by Cotswold District Council.


District councillors often attend parish council meetings,

usually to discuss and liaise on planning issues. The district

council also grants the annual budget (or ‘precept’) that is

used to fund the parish council’s activities.


Parish councils are responsible for things like maintaining

common areas, consulting on local planning and supporting

community initiatives. For more information on this, see the

FAQ above.

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