Information about Town and Parish Councils
These pages have been developed to provide guidance and information for members of the public about Wiltshire’s town and parish councils, as well as links to relevant sources of additional information about town and parish councils generally.
A number of resources for Town and Parish Councillors are available at the Town and Parish Council Resources page.
Links to relevant organisations, key Legislation, and other Wiltshire Council pages are available at the Useful links for Town and Parish Councils page.
Town and Parish Councils in Wiltshire
There are 253 town and parish councils within Wiltshire.
Contact information and further details for all of the councils are available at the Contact details for Town and Parish Councils in Wiltshire page.
What is a town/parish council?
Town and parish councils are the first layer of local government. They are elected local authorities, which aim to engage local people and respond to their needs, through representation as community advocates or by providing services, for example; the administration of parks or promoting tourism in the local area.
What do they do?
The activities parish and town councils are involved in are
varied and diverse. They have a range of functions:
• as community representatives on other bodies
• powers to provide facilities
• powers to be notified of proposals and surveys
• other miscellaneous powers.
Many parish and town councils are involved in planning, promoting tourism, licensing, community halls, representation, management of town and village centres and provide local representatives for the Council's Community Area Boards.
Town and Parish Councillors
Each town and parish council is made up of councillors who, on
the whole, are elected through the ballot box. Elections are held
every four years and the last elections in Wiltshire took place in
May 2013. The next town and parish elections will take place in
2017 which will combined with the Wiltshire Council unitary
By-elections are also held to fill vacant seats as and when they occur.
Some councillors are not elected but co-opted onto the Council. This happens when there are not enough candidates at the time of an election to fill all the vacancies or, when a vacancy occurs mid-term, the electorate does not call for an election. In these circumstances the existing elected councillors, provided there is a quorum (i.e. one third of the whole numbers of members with a minimum of three), can co-opt members to fill the remaining vacancies.
Town and Parish Elections
pages of Wiltshire Council’s website contain information on a
range of electoral issues such as electoral boundaries, election
results, registering to vote, postal and proxy voting, current town
and parish council vacancies and forthcoming town and parish
You will also find a link to the Electoral Services Commission website which contains further information including guidance for candidates and agents and relevant legislation.
Alternatively, further information about qualifying as a candidate and the election process is available at the National Association of Local Councils' website.
Current Vacancies in Town and Parish Councils
Details of vacancies arising in town and parish councils across Wiltshire are available through the Current Councillor Vacancies page of our website. Here you will find the notice of vacancy which contains details of the process for calling an election and the relevant deadlines.
Forthcoming Elections in Wiltshire
Upcoming town or parish council elections in Wiltshire are
listed through the
Forthcoming Town and Parish Council Elections page on our
Here you will find information about how to obtain nomination papers and how to register to vote in these elections, together with relevant deadlines and contact details.