Parishes, Districts, Boroughs and County Levels

Three tiers of local Government serve residents in the county of Somerset.

The County Council (click to access website) is the last tier before national government. Somerset County Council employs over 14,000 people in its various departments and establishments and is the county's largest employer. It has a budget in the order of £700 million. Most employees are engaged in front line services to the public.

Its responsibilities include:

  • Education including adult education, the youth service and under fives;
  • Social services who work with other agencies to provide integrated care in the community (including fostering, adoption, care of those with special needs and the vulnerable including the elderly, the Drug Action Team and Youth Offending Team);
  • Emergency planning;
  • Highways and Road Safety;
  • Rights of way;
  • The environment and waste disposal together with planning applications for waste and mineral sites.;
  • Economic development. The county is responsible for the strategic plans which set out policies for the location of new development such as housing, industry, shopping and leisure facilities and the transport to serve these.
  • Consumer Protection; 
  • Libraries and museums.

County Councillor for Brent   -   Bob Filmer



District and Borough Councils

In Somerset there are four district councils: Mendip, Sedgemoor, (again click to access SDC website), South Somerset and West Somerset; and one borough council: Taunton Deane.

Their responsibilities include:

  • Building regulations;
  • Car parks;
  • Cemeteries;
  • Concessionary bus fares;
  • Council tax;
  • Council housing for rent and sale;
  • Economic development;
  • Elections;
  • Food safety and hygiene;
  • some highway maintenance;
  • Historic buildings; housing benefits; improvement grants; leisure and recreation; licensing;
  • Local plans;
  • Parks and playing fields;
  • Pest control;
  • Planning applications;
  • Refuse collection;
  • Sports centres;
  • Street cleaning;
  • some markets;
  • Tourism;
  • Tree preservation.

District Councillors -  Graham Godwin-Pearson and Liz Scott

Graham Godwin-Pearson is a District Councillor for Axe Vale on Sedgemoor District Council, which includes the parishes of Badgworth, Chapel Allerton, Compton Bishop and Weare. He serves on the Standards committee.

Graham can be contacted on 07526 031002 or by email - Graham.Godwin-Pearson@sedgemoor.gov.uk 



Liz Scott is also a District Councillor for Axe Vale on Sedgemoor District Council.

Liz can be contacted on 07934 733341 : Email: Elizabeth.Scott@sedgemoor.gov.uk



At the grass roots level are town and parish councils, of which Compton Bishop Parish is one.

They provide and maintain:

  • monuments,
  • playing fields,
  • footpaths
  • churchyards and administer local charities.

Parish councils were established by the Local Government Act 1894, but most of their legal powers were abolished by the 1972 Local Government Act.

A parish council acts as the voice of its local community, passing parishioners’ opinions and views on to higher levels of government and other bodies. Its powers are defined and granted by acts of Parliament.

There are also links to Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor District Council on the Useful Links Page



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