The Parish meeting of all residents has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security, and traffic. The parish council's role also includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance, repair, and improvement of highways, drainage, footpaths, public transport, and street cleaning. Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and environmental issues are also the responsibility of the council.
The village falls within the non-metropolitan district of Somerset West and Taunton, which was established on 1 April 2019. It was previously in the district of Taunton Deane, which was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, and part of Taunton Rural District before that. The district council is responsible for local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection and recycling, cemeteries and crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism. The Village is preserved by planning regulations as an "area of restraint", meaning that no major redevelopment should take place in Ash Priors itself.
Somerset County Council is responsible for running the largest and most expensive local services such as education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, policing and fire services, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning.
It is also part of the Taunton Deane county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election, and part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.
Ash Priors Common, south of the village is a 21 hectares (52 acres) local nature reserve of unimproved neutral grassland, semi-natural deciduous woodland, wet heath, scrub, carr, stream, ponds and hedgerows. The plants to be found at the site include early marsh-orchid and twayblade orchid while the animals include the Eurasian harvest mouse, viviparous lizard and tree pipit. It was the first and is the largest local nature reserve run by Taunton Deane Council.
Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke was once resident at Ballifants Farm, on the outskirts of the village. Henry and Elizabeth (Saunders) Wolcott, emigrants to New England and great-grandparents of Oliver Wolcott, one of the signatories of the US Declaration of Independence.
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- "Church of the Holy Trinity". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
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