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Information for parish and town councils

Local councils are key partners for Cornwall Council. This page brings together information and resources they may find helpful.

Town and Parish Council Newsletter

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Our monthly Town and Parish Council Newsletter and special bulletins provide information about issues that affect Cornwall’s local councils. Town and parish council clerks and councillors who would like to be added to the email circulation list should contact

We have established Facebook and Twitter pages for each of our nineteen Community Network Areas. These are a great way to find information pertinent to your local area. Full list of accounts


We currently have two partnerships to co-design work with Town and Parish Councils, you can read about the partnerships and their work using the links below:

The safeguarding toolkit provides supportive guidance to help local councils and community and voluntary groups and organisations to review and consider their safeguarding responsibilities. There is also a bite size guide available.

The toolkit can be used as a starting point to plan and deliver safeguarding arrangements where the interests of children, young people and adults are always considered, with a sensible amount of procedures and rules. As with all legislation and guidance it continues to change. Therefore it is not an exhaustive or a complete summary of all statutory guidance and should not be read as such.

When reviewing and agreeing your own policy, links should be made with other relevant guidelines and procedures (below). Please pay particular attention to those that are applicable to town and parish councils and voluntary and community groups.

The local councils page in our planning section has information on the role of local councils in planning applications.

We have moved to paperless consultation on planning applications with local councils. You can see frequently asked questions about this on our Town and Parish FAQ's page.

Our St Somewhere Neighbourhood Plan provides an example of what a neighbourhood development plan might look like. This is only a general guide - neighbourhood plans can take other forms.  New national guidance is issued regularly.  If there are updates to the St. Somewhere Neighbourhood Plan example, we’ll publish details in the Communities and Devolution Bulletin and update the link on this page.

There’s more information and guidance about creating neighbourhood plans on our neighbourhood development plans page.

The devolution framework forms the basis of the service delivery partnership arrangements between Cornwall Council and local councils.  It covers everything from straightforward service monitoring through to the full transfer of services. 

Cornwall Association of Local Council’s (CALC) October 2015 presentation to the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) covers the 'Devolution of Discretionary services, the progress in Cornwall so far'.

Each Cornwall Councillor has a small Community Chest grant allocation to assist projects run by voluntary and community groups in the Cornwall Council area they represent. The Community Chest grants can be used for a wide range of groups and activities, including helping vulnerable children or adults, helping young people, providing facilities for older people, supporting community facilities, local environment projects and helping projects to tackle community safety issues.

Community emergency plans involve identifying and planning for things that could happen during an emergency so communities can help themselves until the emergency services arrive. Local councils usually take the lead in preparing community emergency plans and overseeing their use in an emergency.

See the Cornwall Community Resilience Network pages to learn more about creating a community emergency plan for your area.

The Community Right to Bid gives local councils and community groups the chance to bid for local assets like recreation grounds and community centres if and when they come up for sale.  Groups nominate local land and buildings that are mainly used to benefit the community to be listed as assets of community value by Cornwall Council.

Assets stay on the list for up to five years.  If an asset is offered for sale during this time, local community groups have up to six months to raise the money to make a bid to buy the asset on the open market. The sale takes place under normal market conditions and the owner has no obligation to sell to a community group.

Local councils can help make their communities great places to live and work in by understanding local differences and encouraging others to do the same. This means everyone can feel included and fairly treated.

It’s also a duty under the Equalities Act for everyone to work to create a way of doing things that recognises, respects, values and harnesses difference for the benefit of our communities.

Our Community Impact Assessment Toolkit provides guidance for local councils.  There’s also an example of a completed assessment, Remembrance Day Parade, from St Austell Town Council.

Town and parish councils can play a key role in supporting local events. Find out more on our event management and town and parish councils page or see our guidance on organising events.