The town council has existed in its modern format since the end of the 19th century.
Prior to this period, the affairs of the local parish and inhabitants would have been discussed by a group of senior town inhabitants. Invariably these groups would have consisted of and been heavily influenced by the local gentry, religious leaders and principal ratepayers. In many communities this system proved very effective however, this was not always the case.
For various reasons but specifically due to a general movement towards greater ‘democracy’; and a desire to decrease the influence of religious movements, political will began to facilitate the establishment of Parish Councils.
In 1972 the Local Government Act came into being and the exact role and nature of these bodies in both England and Wales became more clearly defined.