What is a Parish Council and why become a Parish Councillor?

A parish council is a local authority that makes decisions on behalf of the people in the parish. It is the level of government closest to the community, with the District Authority (Purbeck District Council) above it in the hierarchy. A vital part of the community, the parish council is the first place residents tend to go with concerns or ideas

Why become a Parish Councillor?

Your community will look to you for help, guidance and support. You will be able to influence some decisions for the benefit of the people you serve and you will be part of making changes for the better.

What decisions do Parish Councils make?

Decisions that affect the local community; Planning matters (statutory consulates), crime prevention, managing open spaces and campaigning for and delivering better services and facilities. Powers are limited but they do have the ability to negotiate and influence other organisations that do make the final decisions. The Parish Council reflects the feelings of the community and because of this, its views should be taken seriously.

What powers do Parish Councils have?

These are related to essentially local matters such as maintaining community buildings, open spaces, allotments, play areas and bus shelters. The council has the power to raise money through taxation, the precept. This is the Parish Councils share of the council tax. Our annual precept is currently £15,000.


The Parish Council is formed of elected. They are elected by the residents of the Parish of Winfrith and East Knighton and form the first tier of local government.


The Parish Council normally meets on the second Monday of each month, in Winfrith Village Hall at 7pm.

Raising Issues

All parishioners are welcome to attend the meetings. They are invited to raise any issues of concern before the formal meeting commences. Thereafter they are present as observers and may only address the meeting at the invitation of the Chair.

Agenda and Minutes

We produce an agenda prior to every meeting and minutes of each meeting.  Click the following: Minutes or Agendas