Like most Parish Councils, Burwell Parish Council was established in 1894. Councils are a democratically elected tier of local government, working closest to the local community. A Parish Council has the power to raise funding through taxation, known as the precept and have a range of powers to incur expenditure. A Parish Council has some duties such as the provision of allotments should these be required by the community, but not as many duties as principal authorities such as District and County Councils.
Burwell Parish Council adopted the Power of General Competence in May 2023. To be able to do this, the Council had to confirm that at least two thirds of its Councillors have been elected and that its Parish Clerk holds the Certificate in Local Council Administration. The power, introduced as part of the Localism Act 2011 permits a council to do anything an individual can do unless specifically prohibited by legislation.
The structure of Burwell Parish Council consists of four Working Groups, a Strategy Group and Full Council. The Working Groups consider and make recommendations to the Full Council. The Working Groups meet bi-monthly and have no powers in their own right.
The Working Groups are Assets and Environment, Community, Leisure, Health and Sport, Finance and General Purposes and Safety. Public attendance at Working Group meetings is generally not allowed.
The Strategy Group consists of the Chair and Vice of the Council and Working Groups meets as needed. Again, public attendance at these meetings is not generally allowed.
The Full Council meets twice monthly and is a single corporate body. It considers all Council business including acting as a consultee for planning. Members of the public are welcome to attend Full Council meetings.