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About The Parish Council

Main purpose

Representing the views of all residents within Kirk Smeaton parish.


As can be seen from our minutes, typical business includes helping parishioners with local issues, often by taking up their problems with the District and County Councils, Police or other agency, commenting on local planning applications, managing Kirk Smeaton cemetery, village green and other green areas, working pro-actively on local issues such as development, dog fouling, traffic and signage.

The History of Parish Councils

Parish Councils have their origins in Saxon and Norman times. Villages were ruled by the Lord of the Manor and sometimes the villagers all met to make decisions which affected the whole community. Parish Priests and later Schoolmasters took on roles of leadership and by 1601 Church Vestry Meetings were given the responsibility of levying the poor rate. These were the first effective local taxes.


There have been nunerous Acts of Parliament over the last two centuries conferring, directly or indirectly, various powers on Parish Councils including Gladstone's 1894 Local Government Act which established them in their modern form as the third tier of Local Government and the 1972 Local Government Act which revised their role substantially.


The powers of Parish Councils include:

  • The maintenance of a village green or other common space or pasture.

  • The maintenance and protection of war memorials.

  • The provision of allotments, including the

  • duty to provide allotments if demanded by parishioners.

  • The acquisition, provision and maintenance of cemeteries and the maintenance of closed

  • church yards.

  • Undertake projects and schemes that benefit local residents.

  • The provision of bus shelters, public clocks, buildings for public meetings, community centres and facilities for sports, recreation and social events.

  • The maintenance of roadside verges (including tree planting), litter bins, car parks, public conveniences, public seating, and some traffic signs.

  • The maintenance of rights of way, ponds, ditches, public footpaths and bridle-ways.

  • The right to appoint school governors.

  • The right to be notified of planning applications and give views, on behalf of the community, on these applications and other proposals that affect the parish.

  • The passing of bye-laws in relation to open spaces, cemeteries, cycle parking and pleasure grounds.

  • The provision of public entertainment and support for the arts.

  • Work in partnership with other bodies to achieve benefits for the parish

  • Alert relevant authorities to problems that arise or work that needs to be undertaken

  • Help the other tiers of local government keep in touch with their local communities.

  • Decide on how much to raise through the council tax in order to deliver the Parish Council’s services

External Website Links


External links are selected and reviewed when the page is published. However, the Parish Council (PC) is not responsible for the content of external websites. This is because:

  • the PC does not produce them or maintain/update them

  • the PC cannot change them

  • they can be changed without the PC's knowledge or agreement.

Some of our external links may be to websites which may offer commercial services, such as online purchases.

The inclusion of a link to an external website from is for information purposes only andshould not be understood to be an endorsement of that website or the site's owners (or their products/services).

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