Parish Councils are local authorities that make decisions on behalf of the people in their parish.
It is the level of government closest to the community, with the borough or district authority above it in the hierarchy.
Many people have never been to a Parish Council meeting, however if you live in a community where something of importance has taken place, you will know that when people in the community need support and guidance, it is often the parish council that they consult.
The Council has a wide range of powers that essentially relate to local matters, such as looking after community buildings, open space, allotments, play areas, street lighting, bus shelters, car parks and much more.
The council also has the power to raise money through taxation, the precept. The precept is the parish council’s share of the council tax. The precept demand goes to the billing authority, which collects the tax for the parish council.
The most common topics that parish councils get involved with are planning matters (they are statutory consultees), crime prevention, managing open spaces and campaigning for and delivering better services and facilities.
Although parish councils have limited powers to make decisions, they do have the ability to negotiate with and the power to influence those that do make the final decisions, such as the borough council, county council, health authorities, police etc.
For this reason they are a vital part of any community.
East Horsley Parish is in the Guildford Borough of Surrey and is situated between A246, A3 and M25.