Parish Councils were established as the first tier of local government in 1894 to take over local oversight of civic duties in rural towns and villages. Cowley Parish Council discharges its duties and powers within the law and according to its governance policies. These policies are reviewed annually.
The rules governing the behaviour of Parish councillors are set out in the Code of Conduct. Parish Councillors work to rules on how business is conducted, as set out in the Standing Orders adopted by Cowley Parish Council.
Further details on the governance and procedures of Parish Councils can be found in the Local Government Act 1972, the Localism Act 2011 (overview) and the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities. A guide for good governance is also provided in the Governance Toolkit for Parish & Town Councils, produced in partnership between the National Association of Local Councils, the Society of Local Council Clerks, Standards for England and the Association of Council Secretaries and Solicitors and is endorsed by the Local Government Association (2009).
Cowley Parish Council is a member of the Gloucestershire Association of Local Councils and the National Association of Local Councils which provide support and training for the Parish Councillors and the Parish Clerk.