Town Council - United Kingdom

United Kingdom

See also: Parish councils in England

In England, town councils are civil parish councils, where the civil parish has declared itself to be a town. Civil parishes are the most local level of elected governance, under the district, unitary or county level.

Any parish can decide to describe itself as a town. The chairman of a town council is technically called a town mayor. The term "town mayor" is used as opposed to simply "mayor", which means the mayor of a borough or a city. However, this is often abbreviated simply to mayor, especially where the town was historically a borough or city, such as Lewes or Ely. In Scotland, the term 'provost' is commonly used to designate the leader of the town council.

Historically the term 'town council' was used for the governing body of a municipal borough.

The term 'town council' in England, is today used only for a parish council which has named itself as a town council. If another type of local authority such as a district authority covers a single town (such as Corby or Cheltenham) then the council is often a 'borough council': borough status is however conferred at the discretion of the Crown.

In Wales, where the lowest tier of local government is known as a community, the Community Council may unilaterally declare itself to be a Town Council, but this has the same status as a Community Council.

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