What is a Parish Council?

A Parish Council is the most local branch of government and usually represents just one town or locality. They are civil authorities and have nothing to do with the Church.

Chorleywood Parish Council is a larger local council made up of four wards, Chorleywood North, Chorleywood South, Cedars Ward and Quickwood Ward, together comprising over 4,500 households.

What do Parish Councils do?

Parish Councils represent the local community, delivering services to meet local needs and improving the quality of life and community wellbeing. They have a wide range of powers to provide and manage local services, such as village halls, sports and recreation facilities, allotments, cemeteries and churchyards, commons, footpaths and public open spaces.

They can support local voluntary activities, stage local events and undertake initiatives such as transport and crime prevention. These powers are mostly discretionary, i.e. they can be used to as great or little extent as their community wishes.


Parish Councils comprise councillors that are elected by parishioners. It is the only elected council where the voters are likely to know many of the people they elect. It is equally likely that your parish councillor will know you personally and pay more heed to your comments than can a District or County councillor.

Parish Councils are subject to the same rules as the larger local authorities; their meetings are open to the public, their accounts are audited and are open to public inspection. And they are the only level of local government that is required to hold a public meeting for all its electors once every year.

Parish Councillors as public servants are bound by a Code of Conduct.

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How We Are Funded?

As parishioners – you do! The cost of running your Parish Council appears on your council tax bill alongside the District Council’s costs to provide services.

What you don’t pay for are the councillors. Unlike District and County Councillors, Parish Councillors are not paid. Usually, being a councillor costs them money.

Earlier this year, the Parish Council decided that, bearing in mind the Cost of Living Crisis, it would not increase the Precept* for financial year 2023/24 to avoid causing additional pressures on household budgets. It has achieved this by offsetting increases in energy and staff costs by applying aggressive cost control in other areas where possible and funding a small expected shortfall in funding out of existing reserves.  What will it cost per average household (Band D)?  The annual cost per household from 1st April 2023 is £85.59 per year, or £1.65 per week.  This represents a decrease of 10p per year.

*The precept is the Parish Council’s share of the Council Tax collected by Three Rivers District Council. The precept fills the gap between the Parish Council’s planned expenditure and its estimated income.

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What Services is Chorleywood Parish Council Providing?

Chorleywood Parish Council manages Chorleywood Common’s 80 hectares of grassland and woodland and seven ponds, three village halls, three allotment sites, one cemetery, a closed churchyard, and the Parish’s many footpaths.

The Parish Council contributes to Hertfordshire Constabulary towards the cost of providing two PCSOs dedicated to the Parish, and have grant funded Chorleywood First Responders, who work with the ambulance service.

We organise a number of community events such as the annual Chorleywood Village Day and Charity Quiz Night which raises thousands of pounds each year for local organisations.

We also support local organisations through grant funding and contribute to their running.