Local Councils (known in England as parish, town, community, neighbourhood or village Councils) are statutory bodies consisting of elected members of the community.

Formed by legislation in 1894, there are approximately 9,000 Local Councils in England

They are the first tier of local government.

  • Councils represent their constituents in delivery services and financial supporting local organisations.  
  • In order to carry out the functions of the Council it has certain legal duties and statutory powers.

The Local Government Association has information about Councillors’ roles.


Local Authorities are required to adopt a Code of Conduct which sets out rules governing the behaviour of their Members and satisfies the requirements of the Localism Act 2011

The Code of Conduct seeks to ensure that Members observe the highest standards of conduct in their civic role.

Bickleigh Parish Council’s code of conduct was adopted in 2012.

Code of conduct

In June 2011, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) published a list of legal duties placed on local authorities.   To view the list click here or the link below https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-local-government-statutory-duties-summary-of-responses?2.

In addition administrative statutory duties which the Council must adhere to (such as the appointment of a Chairman, Responsible Finance Officer (RFO), independent internal auditor and adoption of the Code of Conduct the Council) the Council must comply with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Data Protection Act 1998, which has now been superseded by the Data Protection Act 2018  (and GDPR) and the Equality Act 2010.  As with any other employer the Council must comply with employment law.