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About the Parish Council

The Parish Council is a local council just for the village and surrounding parish area.

The Parish Council:

  • Is the most local level of government for an area

  • Operates at a grass‐roots level

  • Provides representation and, in some cases, provision of services to the immediate local area

  • Performs a separate and distinctly different function to the district council and county council which operate at a much wider level

  • Brings a unique set of benefits for the local area


Town and parish councils play a vital role in supporting and enhancing their community’s identity, services and quality of life. They can do this because they are based locally, operating within their local community. This means they are best placed to understand the issues within their areas and can provide a more focused and tailored response as a result. They can make a difference by:

  • Attracting new funding for the area (for example for activities/play equipment/sports)

  • Increasing the focus on priorities for the immediate area

  • Giving local residents a stronger voice

  • Enabling more local decision-making

  • Having control over local assets and service delivery

  • Ensuring there is greater local representation

  • Having greater influence over future development in the area


As well as being able to deliver a range of key local services, parish councils are also able to support events and initiatives which promote community spirit and inclusiveness; award grants to community groups, sports clubs, charities or other voluntary sector organisations; invest in the town’s public spaces; recognise volunteers; and regularly ask the question “what else can we do for the local area?”


Mattishall Parish Boundary Map

The Role of a Councillor


They are elected to represent the interests of the local community as a whole and promote a harmonious local environment. The number of elected councillors depends on the size of the area. In Mattishall we are able to have 9 councillors.


Local councils are the first tier of governance and are the first point of contact for anyone concerned with a community issue. They are democratically elected local authorities and exist in England, Wales and Scotland. The term ‘local council’ is synonymous with ‘parish council’, ‘town council’ and ‘community council’.


Local councils are made up of locally elected councillors. They are legally obliged to hold at least one meeting a year. Most meet on a monthly cycle to discuss council business and hear from local residents. District councillors regularly attend parish meetings to report back to the district on developments at parish level. County councillors are also invited to attend parish meetings when the parish council feels it is appropriate, and they have a standing invitation to attend and report at the Annual Parish Meeting.

Councillors must abide by a Code of Conduct; a set of rules on how councillors are expected to behave.  They must also declare their pecuniary (financial) interests in the parish, details of which are kept on a Register at Breckland District Council.

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