18 November 2021

Report of the Assistant Director (Customer and Communities)

Portfolio of the Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities

Refresh of York’s Parish Charter 


1.        This reports back on a review undertaken of the charter between City of York Council and the 31 parish and town councils within the York local authority area.  A revised version of the charter is set out for approval (See Annex).


2.        The Executive is asked to approve the revised charter and:

·        Ask the Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities to sign it on behalf of the council

·        Refer it to the York Branch of the Yorkshire Local Councils Associations (YLCA) for signature on behalf of the local councils.

Reason: To advance joint working between City of York Council and York’s parish councils.


3.        There are two tiers of local government operating in the outer wards of the City of York local authority area.  Those parts of the City of York which were outside of the pre-1996 non-metropolitan district of York have parish councils, of which there are 31 in total.  One of the parish councils (Haxby) takes the style of Town.  In order to advance joint working between the two tiers of local government, and to recognise the legal and other relationships between the two, a Parish Charter was produced setting-out an agreed way of working. 

4.        The Charter was last reviewed in 2016.  The 2016 Charter states that the document should be reviewed every three years, meaning the review is now overdue.  The current review of the Charter has been co-ordinated by the York Parish Council Liaison Group which meets with the aim of improving working relations between the parish councils and City of York Council.  The Liaison Group comprises six parish councillors (who are appointed by the York Branch of the YLCA) together with the Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, the Assistant Director (Communities and Culture) and the Communities Team Manager, representing City of York Council.  The York Branch of the YLCA comprises representatives from the 30 (out of 31) parishes that are members of the YLCA.  The YLCA itself is a county association of the National Association of Local Councils.


5.        In addition to discussion at the York Parish Council Liaison Group the Charter has been consulted on at an open meeting for all parish councils held at the Mansion House in January 2020.  The draft charter was also considered by the Joint Standards Committee at its 6 July meeting and the committee’s suggested amendments have been incorporated.


6.        The proposed revised draft is attached at Annex 1.


7.        The principal options open to the Executive are:

Option 1: Approve the draft charter for signing by City of York Council and the York Branch of the YLCA.

Option 2: Suggest amendments to the draft charter. 


8.        Option 1 will reinforce existing joint working, taking into consideration the contributions of consultees.  Option 2 provides an opportunity to make amendments to the text. 

Council Plan

9.        Parish councils are the first tier of local government in the neighbourhoods they serve and (to quote the motto of YLCA) “closest to the people”.  In the parished wards of the city, the Parish Charter is important to advancing the Council Plan.  In particular, relations with parish councils are a key component of the Council Plan’s priority for the City of York to be “an open and effective council”.


10.    There are no additional Financial, Equalities, Human Resources, Legal, Information Technology, Property, Crime and Disorder or Other implications arising from the report.

Risk Management

11.    In compliance with the Council’s risk management strategy the main risks that have been identified associated with the proposals contained in this report are those which could lead to the inability to meet business objectives and to deliver services, leading to damage to the Council’s reputation and failure to meet stakeholders’ expectations.  The level of risk is assessed as “Low”.  This is acceptable but means that regular monitoring is required of the operation of the new arrangements.

Annex:  The revised Parish Charter

Contact Details


Chief Officer responsible:

Charlie Croft
Assistant Director (Customer and Communities)

Pauline Stuchfield

Director (Customer and Communities)

Report Approved




Specialist Implications Officers:         

Wards Affected:  All

For further information please contact the author of the report

Worddoc/reports/Exec /Parish Charter.docx