Civil parishes in Merseyside

Civil Parishes In Merseyside

Civil parishes in Merseyside

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A civil parish is a subnational entity, forming the lowest unit of local government in England. There are 23 civil parishes in the ceremonial county of Merseyside, most of the county being unparished; Liverpool and Wirral are completely unparished. At the 2001 census, there were 177,663 people living in the 23 parishes, accounting for 13.0 per cent of the county's population.


Parishes arose from Church of England divisions, and were originally purely ecclesiastical divisions. Over time they acquired civil administration powers.Angus Winchester, 2000, Discovering Parish Boundaries. Shire Publications. Princes Risborough, 96 pages ISBN 978-0747804703

The Highways Act 1555 made parishes responsible for the upkeep of roads. Every adult inhabitant of the parish was obliged to work four days a year on the roads, providing their own tools, carts and horses; the work was overseen by an unpaid local appointee, the Surveyor of Highways.

The poor were looked after by the monasteries, until their dissolution. In 1572, magistrates were given power to 'survey the poor' and impose taxes for their relief. This system was made more formal by the Poor Law Act 1601, which made parishes responsible for administering the Poor Law; overseers were appointed to charge a rate to support the poor of the parish. The 19th century saw an increase in the...
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