Town and parish councils have the power to use working parties which are also known as working groups. The great advantage of working parties is that they allow the council to work with residents.

This Best Practice Guide is for residents, town and parish councillors and clerks who wish to understand what terms of reference should be given to working parties. Terms of reference define how an working party works, what it can do and what is the required from the group. Working parties are intended to be informal.

It should be noted that all council committees should have clear terms of reference. The proforma terms of reference may be updated to meet the needs of council committees and sub committees.


This guide includes...

  • Background
  • Terms of reference contents
  • Blank proforma Terms of Reference
  • Example Terms of Reference for a Transport Working Group

This document is not a best practice guide to the use or misuse of advisory committees or working parties. It is limited to the need for terms of reference.

This guide is indicative and is not definitive as the requirements may and will vary from council to council.

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