Parish and Town Councils are the most local democratically elected bodies within the English system of local government.
In the Barnsley Borough, there are 17 Parish and Town Councils (with High Hoyland also having a Parish Meeting).
Each Parish and Town Council varies in the facilities it provides, although most provide and maintain at least some recreational facilities. All have the power to raise money for these activities by way of a precept, an additional amount of Council Tax paid by people within the area of the Parish or Town. They are also closely involved in organising many local events in their areas.
Parish Councils provide a focus for local activity in their communities, encouraging local people to make their views known, particularly on issues about maintaining the character of the local area. A key role, then, of Parish Councils is to express those views to other public bodies, such as the Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, particularly on planning applications and other environmental or quality of life concerns.
The Parish Councils also provides an opportunity for members of the public to become more involved in local affairs, both by getting involved in the activities or campaigns they organise and by seeking election to the Parish Council.