Successor parish

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, either only part of the former area became a parish or two parishes were formed.

Successor parish
CategoryCivil parish
Found inDistricts
Created byLocal Government Act 1972
Created1 April 1974
Number300 (as of 1 April 1974)
Possible typesCity
GovernmentCity council
Town council
Parish council


Until 1974, civil parishes with parish councils had existed only within rural districts, as urban districts served a similar purpose. Civil parishes were created by the Local Government Act 1894 and were not formed 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 Commission 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.[1] It was further allowed that these parish councils would be entitled to be styled 'towns' and have 'town mayors', and retain other charter rights.[2] The mechanism for towns and town mayors was introduced in a government amendment in the Lords in September 1972.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] 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 parishesEdit

Abolished district Successor parish Successor parish county
Clevedon Urban District Clevedon Avon
Norton-Radstock Urban District Norton-Radstock13 Avon
Portishead Urban District Portishead1 Avon
Ampthill Urban District Ampthill Bedfordshire
Biggleswade Urban District Biggleswade Bedfordshire
Kempston Urban District Kempston Bedfordshire
Leighton-Linslade Urban District Leighton-Linslade Bedfordshire
Sandy Urban District Sandy Bedfordshire
Wokingham Municipal Borough Wokingham Berkshire
Eton Urban District Eton Berkshire
Beaconsfield Urban District Beaconsfield Buckinghamshire
Buckingham Municipal Borough Buckingham Buckinghamshire
Chesham Urban District Chesham Buckinghamshire
Marlow Urban District Marlow Buckinghamshire
Chatteris Urban District Chatteris Cambridgeshire
Ely Urban District Ely Cambridgeshire
Huntingdon and Godmanchester Municipal Borough Huntingdon and Godmanchester2 Cambridgeshire
St Ives Municipal Borough St Ives Cambridgeshire
March Urban District March Cambridgeshire
Ramsey Urban District Ramsey Cambridgeshire
St Neots Urban District St Neots Cambridgeshire
Wisbech Municipal Borough Wisbech Cambridgeshire
Alderley Edge Urban District Alderley Edge Cheshire
Alsager Urban District Alsager Cheshire
Bollington Urban District Bollington Cheshire
Golborne Urban District (part) Culcheth and Glazebury Cheshire
Knutsford Urban District Knutsford Cheshire
Lymm Urban District Lymm Cheshire
Middlewich Urban District Middlewich Cheshire
Nantwich Urban District Nantwich Cheshire
Northwich Urban District Northwich Cheshire
Sandbach Urban District Sandbach Cheshire
Winsford Urban District Winsford Cheshire
Guisborough Urban District Guisborough Cleveland
Loftus Urban District Loftus Cleveland
Saltburn and Marske-by-the-Sea Urban District Saltburn and Marske-by-the-Sea3 Cleveland
Bodmin Municipal Borough Bodmin Cornwall
Bude-Stratton Urban District Bude-Stratton Cornwall
Falmouth Municipal Borough Falmouth Cornwall
Helston Municipal Borough Helston Cornwall
Dunheved Municipal Borough Launceston Cornwall
Liskeard Municipal Borough Liskeard Cornwall
Looe Urban District Looe Cornwall
Penryn Municipal Borough Penryn Cornwall
St Ives Municipal Borough St Ives Cornwall
St Just Urban District St Just Cornwall
Saltash Municipal Borough Saltash Cornwall
Truro Municipal Borough Truro Cornwall
Torpoint Urban District Torpoint Cornwall
Appleby Municipal Borough Appleby-in-Westmorland Cumbria
Cockermouth Urban District Cockermouth Cumbria
Grange Urban District Grange-over-Sands Cumbria
Kendal Municipal Borough Kendal Cumbria
Keswick Urban District Keswick Cumbria
Lakes Urban District (part) Lakes Cumbria
Lakes Urban District (part) Patterdale Cumbria
Maryport Urban District Maryport Cumbria
Ulverston Urban District Ulverston Cumbria
Windermere Urban District Windermere Cumbria
Ashbourne Urban District Ashbourne Derbyshire
Bakewell Urban District Bakewell Derbyshire
Belper Urban District Belper Derbyshire
Bolsover Urban District Bolsover, renamed Old Bolsover Derbyshire
Clay Cross Urban District Clay Cross Derbyshire
Dronfield Urban District Dronfield Derbyshire
New Mills Urban District New Mills Derbyshire
Ripley Urban District Ripley Derbyshire
Staveley Urban District Staveley Derbyshire
Whaley Bridge Urban District Whaley Bridge Derbyshire
Wirksworth Urban District Wirksworth Derbyshire
Ashburton Urban District Ashburton Devon
Barnstaple Municipal Borough Barnstaple Devon
Bideford Municipal Borough Bideford Devon
Buckfastleigh Urban District Buckfastleigh Devon
Budleigh Salterton Urban District Budleigh Salterton Devon
Crediton Urban District Crediton Devon
Dartmouth Municipal Borough Dartmouth Devon
Dawlish Urban District Dawlish Devon
Great Torrington Municipal Borough Great Torrington Devon
Honiton Municipal Borough Honiton Devon
Ilfracombe Urban District Ilfracombe Devon
Kingsbridge Urban District Kingsbridge Devon
Lynton Urban District Lynton4 Devon
Newton Abbot Urban District Newton Abbot Devon
Northam Urban District Northam Devon
Okehampton Municipal Borough Okehampton Devon
Ottery St Mary Urban District Ottery St Mary Devon
Salcombe Urban District Salcombe Devon
Seaton Urban District Seaton Devon
Sidmouth Urban District Sidmouth Devon
Teignmouth Urban District Teignmouth Devon
Tiverton Municipal Borough Tiverton Devon
Totnes Municipal Borough Totnes Devon
Blandford Forum Municipal Borough Blandford Forum Dorset
Bridport Municipal Borough Bridport Dorset
Dorchester Municipal Borough Dorchester Dorset
Lyme Regis Municipal Borough Lyme Regis Dorset
Portland Urban District Portland Dorset
Shaftesbury Municipal Borough Shaftesbury Dorset
Sherborne Urban District Sherborne Dorset
Swanage Urban District Swanage Dorset
Wareham Municipal Borough Wareham Lady St Mary5 Dorset
Wimborne Minster Urban District Wimborne Minster Dorset
Barnard Castle Urban District Barnard Castle Durham
Brandon and Byshottles Urban District Brandon and Byshottles Durham
Shildon Urban District Shildon Durham
Spennymoor Urban District Spennymoor Durham
Tow Law Urban District Tow Law Durham
Lewes Municipal Borough Lewes East Sussex
Newhaven Urban District Newhaven East Sussex
Rye Municipal Borough Rye East Sussex
Brightlingsea Urban District Brightlingsea Essex
Burnham-on-Crouch Urban District Burnham-on-Crouch Essex
Epping Urban District Epping Essex
Frinton and Walton Urban District Frinton and Walton Essex
Halstead Urban District Halstead Essex
Harwich Municipal Borough Harwich Essex
Saffron Walden Municipal Borough Saffron Walden Essex
Waltham Holy Cross Urban District Waltham Abbey Essex
West Mersea Urban District West Mersea Essex
Wivenhoe Urban District Wivenhoe Essex
Cirencester Urban District Cirencester Gloucestershire
Nailsworth Urban District Nailsworth Gloucestershire
Tewkesbury Municipal Borough Tewkesbury Gloucestershire
Blackrod Urban District Blackrod Greater Manchester
Horwich Urban District Horwich Greater Manchester
Saddleworth Urban District Saddleworth Greater Manchester
Alton Urban District Alton Hampshire
Petersfield Urban District Petersfield Hampshire
Romsey Municipal Borough Romsey Hampshire
Bewdley Municipal Borough Bewdley Hereford and Worcester
Droitwich Municipal Borough Droitwich6 Hereford and Worcester
Evesham Municipal Borough Evesham Hereford and Worcester
Kington Urban District Kington Hereford and Worcester
Leominster Municipal Borough Leominster Hereford and Worcester
Ross-on-Wye Urban District Ross-on-Wye Hereford and Worcester
Stourport-on-Severn Urban District Stourport-on-Severn Hereford and Worcester
Berkhamsted Urban District Berkhamsted Hertfordshire
Bishop's Stortford Urban District Bishop's Stortford Hertfordshire
Chorleywood Urban District Chorleywood Hertfordshire
Harpenden Urban District Harpenden Hertfordshire
Hertford Municipal Borough Hertford Hertfordshire
Royston Urban District Royston Hertfordshire
Sawbridgeworth Urban District Sawbridgeworth Hertfordshire
Tring Urban District Tring Hertfordshire
Ware Urban District Ware Hertfordshire
Barton-upon-Humber Urban District Barton-upon-Humber Humberside
Brigg Urban District Brigg Humberside
Hedon Municipal Borough Hedon Humberside
Hornsea Urban District Hornsea Humberside
Ventnor Urban District Ventnor Isle of Wight
Broadstairs and St Peter's Urban District Broadstairs and St Peter's Kent
Faversham Municipal Borough Faversham Kent
Hythe Municipal Borough Hythe Kent
Lydd Municipal Borough Lydd Kent
New Romney Municipal Borough New Romney Kent
Sandwich Municipal Borough Sandwich Kent
Sevenoaks Urban District Sevenoaks Kent
Southborough Urban District Southborough Kent
Swanscombe Urban District Swanscombe7 Kent
Tenterden Municipal Borough Tenterden Kent
Adlington Urban District Adlington Lancashire
Carnforth Urban District Carnforth Lancashire
Clitheroe Municipal Borough Clitheroe Lancashire
Kirkham Urban District Kirkham Lancashire
Longridge Urban District Longridge Lancashire
Preesall Urban District Preesall Lancashire
Turton Urban District (part) Turton North11 Lancashire
Whitworth Urban District Whitworth Lancashire
Withnell Urban District Withnell Lancashire
Ashby de la Zouch Urban District Ashby de la Zouch Leicestershire
Ashby Woulds Urban District Ashby Woulds Leicestershire
Oakham Urban District Oakham Leicestershire
Alford Urban District Alford Lincolnshire
Bourne Urban District Bourne Lincolnshire
Horncastle Urban District Horncastle Lincolnshire
Louth Municipal Borough Louth Lincolnshire
Mablethorpe and Sutton Urban District Mablethorpe and Sutton Lincolnshire
Market Rasen Urban District Market Rasen Lincolnshire
Skegness Urban District Skegness Lincolnshire
Sleaford Urban District Sleaford Lincolnshire
Stamford Municipal Borough Stamford Lincolnshire
Woodhall Spa Urban District Woodhall Spa Lincolnshire
Ashton-in-Makerfield Urban District (part) Seneley Green Merseyside
Billinge and Winstanley Urban District (part) Billinge Chapel End Merseyside
Rainford Urban District Rainford Merseyside
Cromer Urban District Cromer Norfolk
Diss Urban District Diss Norfolk
Downham Market Urban District Downham Market Norfolk
East Dereham Urban District East Dereham8 Norfolk
Hunstanton Urban District Hunstanton Norfolk
North Walsham Urban District North Walsham Norfolk
Sheringham Urban District Sheringham Norfolk
Swaffham Urban District Swaffham Norfolk
Thetford Municipal Borough Thetford Norfolk
Wells-next-the-Sea Urban District Wells-next-the-Sea Norfolk
Wymondham Urban District Wymondham Norfolk
Filey Urban District Filey North Yorkshire
Knaresborough Urban District Knaresborough North Yorkshire
Malton Urban District Malton North Yorkshire
Northallerton Urban District Northallerton North Yorkshire
Norton Urban District Norton North Yorkshire
Pickering Urban District Pickering North Yorkshire
Richmond Municipal Borough Richmond North Yorkshire
Ripon Municipal Borough Ripon North Yorkshire
Scalby Urban District Scalby North Yorkshire
Selby Urban District Selby North Yorkshire
Skipton Urban District Skipton North Yorkshire
Whitby Urban District Whitby North Yorkshire
Brackley Municipal Borough Brackley Northamptonshire
Burton Latimer Urban District Burton Latimer Northamptonshire
Desborough Urban District Desborough Northamptonshire
Higham Ferrers Municipal Borough Higham Ferrers Northamptonshire
Irthlingborough Urban District Irthlingborough Northamptonshire
Oundle Urban District Oundle Northamptonshire
Raunds Urban District Raunds Northamptonshire
Rothwell Urban District Rothwell Northamptonshire
Alnwick Urban District Alnwick Northumberland
Amble Urban District Amble Northumberland
Hexham Urban District Hexham Northumberland
Prudhoe Urban District Prudhoe Northumberland
Eastwood Urban District Eastwood Nottinghamshire
Warsop Urban District Warsop Nottinghamshire
Abingdon Municipal Borough Abingdon Oxfordshire
Bicester Urban District Bicester Oxfordshire
Chipping Norton Municipal Borough Chipping Norton Oxfordshire
Henley on Thames Municipal Borough Henley-on-Thames Oxfordshire
Thame Urban District Thame Oxfordshire
Wallingford Municipal Borough Wallingford Oxfordshire
Wantage Urban District Wantage Oxfordshire
Witney Urban District Witney Oxfordshire
Woodstock Municipal Borough Woodstock Oxfordshire
Newport Urban District Newport Salop (Shropshire)
Burnham-on-Sea Urban District Burnham-on-Sea9 Somerset
Chard Municipal Borough Chard12 Somerset
Crewkerne Urban District Crewkerne Somerset
Frome Urban District Frome Somerset
Glastonbury Municipal Borough Glastonbury Somerset
Ilminster Urban District Ilminster Somerset
Shepton Mallet Urban District Shepton Mallet Somerset
Street Urban District Street Somerset
Watchet Urban District Watchet Somerset
Wellington Urban District Wellington Somerset
Wells Municipal Borough Wells Somerset
Penistone Urban District Penistone South Yorkshire
Stocksbridge Urban District Stocksbridge South Yorkshire
Tickhill Urban District Tickhill South Yorkshire
Biddulph Urban District Biddulph Staffordshire
Kidsgrove Urban District Kidsgrove Staffordshire
Leek Urban District Leek Staffordshire
Stone Urban District Stone Staffordshire
Uttoxeter Urban District Uttoxeter Staffordshire
Aldeburgh Municipal Borough Aldeburgh Suffolk
Beccles Municipal Borough Beccles Suffolk
Bungay Urban District Bungay Suffolk
Eye Municipal Borough Eye Suffolk
Felixstowe Urban District Felixstowe Suffolk
Hadleigh Urban District Hadleigh Suffolk
Halesworth Urban District Halesworth Suffolk
Leiston-cum-Sizewell Urban District Leiston Suffolk
Saxmundham Urban District Saxmundham Suffolk
Southwold Urban District Southwold Suffolk
Stowmarket Urban District Stowmarket Suffolk
Sudbury Municipal Borough Sudbury Suffolk
Woodbridge Urban District Woodbridge Suffolk
Godalming Municipal Borough Godalming Surrey
Haslemere Urban District Haslemere Surrey
Hetton Urban District Hetton Tyne and Wear
Stratford upon Avon Municipal Borough Stratford-upon-Avon Warwickshire
Kenilworth Urban District Kenilworth Warwickshire
Warwick Municipal Borough Warwick Warwickshire
Arundel Municipal Borough Arundel West Sussex
Burgess Hill Urban District Burgess Hill West Sussex
Chichester Municipal Borough Chichester West Sussex
East Grinstead Urban District East Grinstead West Sussex
Littlehampton Urban District Littlehampton West Sussex
Denby Dale Urban District Denby Dale West Yorkshire
Denholme Urban District Denholme West Yorkshire
Featherstone Urban District Featherstone West Yorkshire
Hebden Royd Urban District Hebden Royd West Yorkshire
Hemsworth Urban District Hemsworth West Yorkshire
Holmfirth Urban District Holmfirth10 West Yorkshire
Ilkley Urban District Ilkley West Yorkshire
Kirkburton Urban District Kirkburton West Yorkshire
Meltham Urban District Meltham West Yorkshire
Normanton Urban District Normanton West Yorkshire
Otley Urban District Otley West Yorkshire
Ripponden Urban District Ripponden West Yorkshire
Silsden Urban District Silsden West Yorkshire
Todmorden Municipal Borough Todmorden West Yorkshire
Bradford-on-Avon Urban District Bradford-on-Avon Wiltshire
Calne Municipal Borough Calne Wiltshire
Devizes Municipal Borough Devizes Wiltshire
Malmesbury Municipal Borough Malmesbury Wiltshire
Marlborough Municipal Borough Marlborough Wiltshire
Melksham Urban District Melksham Wiltshire
Trowbridge Urban District Trowbridge Wiltshire
Warminster Urban District Warminster Wiltshire
Westbury Urban District Westbury Wiltshire
Wilton Municipal Borough Wilton Wiltshire



  1. ^ Wood, Bruce. The Process of Local Government Reform 1966-1974. (1976)
  2. ^ Smaller towns may keep their mayors. The Times. March 6, 1972.
  3. ^ Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Lords. 22 September 1972. col. 1476–1481.
  4. ^ Local Government Boundary Commission for England: report number 3, Proposals for constitution of parishes
  5. ^ Local Government Boundary Commission for England: report number 5, Parishes: further proposals
  6. ^ Local Government Act 1972, Sections 246 (3) and 247
  7. ^ Local government in England and Wales: A Guide to the New System. London: HMSO. 1974. p. 165. ISBN 0117508470.
  8. ^ "Lancashire". Database of Local Government Orders. Local Government Boundary Commission for England. Retrieved 21 July 2012.