Town council is the first tier of local government and is therefore the closest to the local community.
After town or parish councils many parts of England have two tiers of local government – county councils and then either district, borough or city council.
In other parts of the country, like in North Somerset, in which Portishead is situated, there is just one council which takes care of the majority of local services like the collection of council tax, highways matters, refuse collection, education and housing, this is the unitary authority.
Town councils can only exercise the powers and functions which have been conferred upon them by law (Acts of Parliament).
In order to support their activities town councils need funds which come from a small percentage of the council tax charge, this is known as the ‘precept’.
Town councils campaign on local issues and lobby other agencies to take action to protect the interests of the local communities they represent.
Portishead Town Council is made up of 14 men and women. Portishead Town Council has four wards, namely: Portishead North, Portishead South, Portishead East and Portishead West.
The town councillors are usually elected every four years. Town councillors provide their time free of charge, as their work is unpaid and strictly voluntary. It can be a time-consuming business, sometimes, with little or no recognition for the considerable amount of work and commitment it takes to do the job.
If you need to talk to one of your town councillors, their names, addresses and telephone numbers can be found under Councillors.
To find out more about, or get in touch with, our unitary authority, North Somerset Council, Tel: 01934 888888 or visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk
Also see Council Services.