Parish councils represent one of the tiers of local government.
A parish council has numerous powers and rights. For example it can provide playing fields, make bylaws, deal with the acquisition of land and influence the district and county councils and government agencies on issues and concerns affecting local residents. Parish Councils also have the right to be notified of planning applications by the planning authorities and comment on them, and can spend annually sums decided by its Councillors in accordance with local government legislation.
The 1997 Local Government and Rating Bill contained new powers for parish councils in relation to crime prevention and community transport, and the more recent localism and planning legislation changes have allowed them to produce Neighbourhood Plans and thus have a strong influence on the future development of their parishes.
Newick Parish Council is composed of up to 11 members (Councillors) who are elected for a term of four years. Parish Councillors are elected on the basis of their ability to serve the community, and not on party political grounds. The full council meets 11 times a year, and together with attendance at the Planning, Environment, Playing Fields and Finance and General Purposes Committees, most Councillors attend two or three meetings each month. The council reports on its activities to the public at the Annual Parish Meeting held each year in April. Finance for the council is obtained largely from the Council Tax and in 2021/22 this will yield £68,196.
The Council is represented on the Newick Village Hall Management Committee, the Sports Pavilion Management Committee, and Lewes District Association of Local Councils. A range of training courses is made available to Councillors by Sussex and Surrey Association of Local Councils (SSALC) and the Parish Clerk and Councillors can also keep up to date by attending the annual conferences and networking events organised by East Sussex County Council, Lewes District Council and SSALC.