Unlike the District and County Councils, Parish Councils have discretionary powers to provide certain services but are under no legal obligation to do so.
The Parish Council's main role is to act as watchdog on behalf of electors and this can be a time consuming business with results that are sometimes hard to measure. For example the parish receives strategic plans about housing, roads, public transport, planning, health, in fact, every service which affects the lives of people within the parish. The Parish Council's job is to protect your interests and by responding to the plans, make sure that the relevant agencies get the grass roots local view and secure a better deal for electors.
In a more active role the Parish Council is involved in almost any matter which affects the parish. Sometimes the Parish Council can take direct action to provide services, but more often it can persuade other agencies such as the District and County Council or Forestry Commission to respond. It is encouraging how often pressure from the Parish Council results in an improved quality of service for parishioners.