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The Association of District Councils welcomes today's Queen's speech proposals to strengthen the role and responsib...
The Association of District Councils welcomes today's Queen's speech proposals to strengthen the role and responsibilities of parish councils.

The ADC says that parish councils have a key role to play at local level by improving the quality of life and enhancing the environment. These proposals dealing with crime prevention, local transport and other initiatives will help them in this task.

The ADC also broadly welcomes the proposed rate relief scheme for village stores and post offices although it warns that many rural councils will have some concerns about finding the additional resources to fund their share of such relief schemes.

The Local Government and Rating Bill would provide for a scheme of non-domestic rates relief for certain village shops and post offices. A further discretionary power to grant rate relief to other types of rural business would also be conferred on local authorities.

The bill would also give parish councils in England and community councils in Wales powers to encourage a range of community transport schemes. It would also create powers to install and maintain equipment for crime prevention or detection and to make grants to police authorities.

The government intends that consultation between district and county councils on the one hand and parish councils on the other should be improved. The bill would confer a power on the secretary of state for the environment to direct consultations between these councils to enhance parish council involvement in decision making.

The bill would also make it easier for new parishes to be created where they do not already exist.

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