|Created by||Local Government Act 1972|
|Created||1 April 1974|
|Number||300 (as of 1 April 1974)|
Successor parishes are civil parishes with a parish council created by the Local Government Act 1972 in England. They replaced, with the same boundaries, a selected group of urban districts and municipal boroughs that were abolished in 1974. Most successor parish councils exercised the right to call themselves towns. A total of 300 successor parishes were formed from the former area of 78 municipal boroughs and 221 urban districts. Civil parishes are not permitted to cross district or county boundaries and where the creation of a successor parish would cause this to happen, only part of the former area became a parish or two parishes were formed.
Until 1974 civil parishes with parish councils had existed only within rural districts, as urban districts were in effect also civil parishes. They were created by the Local Government Act 1894 and were not created within urban areas. In many parts of England and Wales their number had been in decline as more areas became urbanised and were incorporated into urban districts or boroughs.
Part V of Schedule 1 of the Local Government Act 1972 directed the Local Government Boundary for England to consult with the existing local authorities and make proposals for the establishment of new parishes with a boundary coterminous with an existing urban district or borough, or if divided by a district boundary as much as was comprised in a single district. The Commission was also to propose names for the parishes. The concept of successor parishes was a relatively late addition to the Local Government Bill, being added at report stage in response to pressure from small urban district and small borough councils. It was further allowed that these parish councils would be entitled to be styled 'towns' and have 'town mayors', and retain other charter rights. The mechanism for towns and town mayors was introduced in a government amendment in the Lords in September 1972.
The Secretary of State for the Environment was permitted to give the Commission guidance on making their proposals. The stated policy was "to retain elected councils at parish level for small towns but not for areas which are parts of larger towns or continuously built up areas". The original criteria for identifying "small towns" was that they should have fewer than 20,000 inhabitants, or less than 20 percent of the district's population. A report was issued by the Commission in May 1973. Following the publication of the report, a large number of representations were made to the Commission. Fifty-two towns in metropolitan districts wished to be granted successor status, of which ten were successful. A similar number of towns in non-metropolitan districts also made representations, of which fifteen were favourably received. The parishes were created by three statutory instruments: the Local Government (Successor Parishes) Order 1973 (S.I. 1973/1110), the Local Government (Successor Parishes) (No. 2) Order 1973 (S.I. 1973/1939) and the Local Government (Successor Parishes) Order 1974 (SI 1974/569).
Where the area of a borough became a successor parish, the powers of the borough corporation under its charter to appoint local officers of dignity passed to the new parish council. Successor parish councils could also apply for the transfer of the coat of arms of the former council by Order in Council. The majority of successor parish councils chose to exercise their right to designate their parish a town, with the parish council becoming a town council. A handful (Chichester, Ely, Ripon and Wells) were successors to cities, with the parish council known as a city council.
List of successor parishes
- 1 ^ Subsequently merged with North Weston to form Portishead and North Weston in 1993; subsequently renamed Portishead
- 2 ^ Subsequently split into separate Huntingdon and Godmanchester parishes in 1982
- 3 ^ Subsequently renamed Saltburn, Marske and New Marske
- 4 ^ Subsequently renamed Lynton and Lynmouth
- 5 ^ Subsequently renamed Wareham Town
- 6 ^ Subsequently renamed Droitwich Spa
- 7 ^ Subsequently renamed Swanscombe and Greenhithe
- 8 ^ Subsequently renamed Dereham
- 9 ^ Subsequently renamed Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge
- 10 ^ Subsequently renamed Holme Valley
- 11 ^ Subsequently renamed North Turton in 1975
- 12 ^ Subsequently renamed Chard Town
- 13 ^ Subsequently split into separate Midsomer Norton, Radstock and Westfield parishes
- Wood, Bruce. The Process of Local Government Reform 1966-1974. (1976)
- Smaller towns may keep their mayors. The Times. March 6, 1972.
- Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Lords. 22 September 1972. col. 1476–1481.
- Local Government Boundary Commission for England: report number 3, Proposals for constitution of parishes
- Local Government Boundary Commission for England: report number 5, Parishes: further proposals
- Local Government Act 1972, Sections 246 (3) and 247
- Local government in England and Wales: A Guide to the New System. London: HMSO. 1974. p. 165. ISBN 0117508470.
- "Lancashire". Database of Local Government Orders. Local Government Boundary Commission for England. Retrieved 21 July 2012.