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Successor parishes are civil parishes created by the Local Government Act 1972 with the same boundaries as an urban district or municipal borough abolished by the Act. In a few cases an abolished area was divided between counties or districts, and two successor parishes formed.

Part V of Schedule 1 of the Act directed the Local Government Boundary for England to consult with the existing local authorities and make proposals for the establishment of new parishes with a boundary coterminus 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. It was further allowed that these parish councils would be entitled to be styled 'towns' and have 'town mayors', and retain other charter rights. The mechanism for towns and town mayors was introduced in a government amendment in the Lords in September 1972.

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. 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.

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.

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, and the parish council known as a city council.

List of successor parishes

Abolished district Successor parish Successor county
Clevedon Urban District Clevedonmarker Avon
Norton-Radstock Urban District Norton-Radstockmarker Avon
Portishead Urban District Portisheadmarker Avon
Ampthill Urban District Ampthillmarker Bedfordshire
Biggleswade Urban District Biggleswademarker Bedfordshire
Kempston Urban District Kempstonmarker Bedfordshire
Leighton-Linslade Urban Districtmarker Leighton-Linslademarker Bedfordshire
Sandy Urban District Sandymarker Bedfordshire
Municipal Borough of Wokingham Wokinghammarker Berkshire
Eton Urban Districtmarker Etonmarker Berkshire
Beaconsfield Urban Districtmarker Beaconsfieldmarker Buckinghamshire
Municipal Borough of Buckingham Buckinghammarker Buckinghamshire
Chesham Urban Districtmarker Cheshammarker Buckinghamshire
Marlow Urban Districtmarker Marlowmarker Buckinghamshire
Chatteris Urban District Chatterismarker Cambridgeshire
Ely Urban District Elymarker Cambridgeshire
Municipal Borough of Huntingdon and Godmanchestermarker Huntingdon and Godmanchestermarker Cambridgeshire
Municipal Borough of St Ives St Ivesmarker Cambridgeshire
March Urban District Marchmarker Cambridgeshire
Ramsey Urban District Ramseymarker Cambridgeshire
St Neots Urban District St Neotsmarker Cambridgeshire
Municipal Borough of Wisbech Wisbechmarker Cambridgeshire
Alderley Edge Urban District Alderley Edgemarker Cheshire
Alsager Urban District Alsagermarker Cheshire
Knutsford Urban District Bollingtonmarker Cheshire
Knutsford Urban District Knutsfordmarker Cheshire
Lymm Urban District Lymmmarker Cheshire
Middlewich Urban District Middlewichmarker Cheshire
Nantwich Urban District Nantwichmarker Cheshire
Northwich Urban District Northwichmarker Cheshire
Sandbach Urban District Sandbachmarker Cheshire
Winsford Urban District Winsfordmarker Cheshire
Guisborough Urban District Guisboroughmarker Cleveland
Loftus Urban District Loftusmarker Cleveland
Saltburn and Marske-by-the-Sea Urban Districtmarker Saltburn and Marske-by-the-Seamarker Cleveland
Municipal Borough of Bodmin Bodminmarker Cornwall
Bude-Stratton Urban District Bude-Strattonmarker Cornwall
Municipal Borough of Falmouth Falmouthmarker Cornwall
Municipal Borough of Helston Helstonmarker Cornwall
Municipal Borough of Dunheved otherwise Launceston Launcestonmarker Cornwall
Municipal Borough of Liskeard Liskeardmarker Cornwall
Looe Urban District Looemarker Cornwall
Municipal Borough of Penryn Penrynmarker Cornwall
Municipal Borough of St Ives St Ivesmarker Cornwall
St Just Urban District St Justmarker Cornwall
Municipal Borough of Saltash Saltashmarker Cornwall
Municipal Borough of Truro Truromarker Cornwall
Torpoint Urban District Torpointmarker Cornwall
Municipal Borough of Applebymarker Appleby-in-Westmorlandmarker Cumbria
Cockermouth Urban Districtmarker Cockermouthmarker Cumbria
Grange Urban District Grange-over-Sandsmarker Cumbria
Municipal Borough of Kendalmarker Kendalmarker Cumbria
Keswick Urban Districtmarker Lakesmarker and Patterdalemarker Cumbria
Maryport Urban Districtmarker Maryportmarker Cumbria
Ulverston Urban District Ulverstonmarker Cumbria
Windermere Urban Districtmarker Windermeremarker Cumbria
Ashbourne Urban District Ashbournemarker Derbyshire
Bakewell Urban District Bakewellmarker Derbyshire
Belper Urban District Belpermarker Derbyshire
Bolsover Urban District Bolsovermarker Derbyshire
Clay Cross Urban District Clay Crossmarker Derbyshire
Dronfield Urban District Dronfieldmarker Derbyshire
New Mills Urban District New Millsmarker Derbyshire
Ripley Urban District Ripleymarker Derbyshire
Staveley Urban District Staveleymarker Derbyshire
Whaley Bridge Urban District Whaley Bridgemarker Derbyshire
Wirksworth Urban District Wirksworthmarker Derbyshire


Boroughs Urban Districts
Barnstaplemarker, Bidefordmarker, Dartmouthmarker, Great Torringtonmarker, Honitonmarker, Okehamptonmarker, Tivertonmarker, Totnesmarker Ashburtonmarker, Buckfastleighmarker, Budleigh Saltertonmarker, Creditonmarker, Dawlishmarker, Ilfracombemarker, Kingsbridgemarker, Lyntonmarker , Newton Abbotmarker, Northammarker, Ottery St. Marymarker, Salcombemarker, Seatonmarker, Sidmouthmarker, Teignmouthmarker


Boroughs Urban Districts
Blandford Forummarker, Bridportmarker, Dorchestermarker, Lyme Regismarker, Shaftesburymarker, Warehammarker (as Wareham Lady St. Mary) Portlandmarker, Sherbornemarker, Swanagemarker, Wimborne Minstermarker


Urban Districts
Barnard Castlemarker, Brandon and Byshottlesmarker, Shildonmarker, Spennymoormarker, Tow Lawmarker

East Sussexmarker

Boroughs Urban Districts
Lewesmarker, Ryemarker Newhavenmarker


Boroughs Urban Districts
Harwichmarker, Saffron Waldenmarker Brightlingseamarker, Burnham-on-Crouchmarker, Eppingmarker, Frinton and Waltonmarker, Halsteadmarker, Waltham Holy Crossmarker renamed Waltham Abbey, West Merseamarker, Wivenhoemarker


Boroughs Urban Districts
Tewkesburymarker Cirencestermarker, Nailsworthmarker

Greater Manchestermarker

Urban Districts
Blackrodmarker, Horwichmarker, Saddleworthmarker


Boroughs Urban Districts
Romseymarker Altonmarker, Petersfieldmarker

Hereford and Worcester

Boroughs Urban Districts
Bewdleymarker, Droitwichmarker , Eveshammarker, Leominstermarker Kingtonmarker, Ross-on-Wyemarker, Stourport-on-Severnmarker


Boroughs Urban Districts
Hertfordmarker Berkhamsteadmarker, Bishop's Stortfordmarker, Chorleywoodmarker, Harpendenmarker, Roystonmarker, Sawbridgeworthmarker, Tringmarker, Waremarker


Boroughs Urban Districts
Hedonmarker Barton-upon-Humbermarker, Briggmarker, Hornseamarker

Isle of Wightmarker

Urban Districts


Boroughs Urban Districts
Favershammarker, Hythemarker, Lyddmarker, New Romneymarker, Sandwichmarker, Tenterdenmarker Broadstairs and St Peter'smarker, Sevenoaksmarker, Southboroughmarker, Swanscombemarker


Boroughs Urban Districts
Clitheroemarker Adlingtonmarker, Carnforthmarker, Part of Golbornemarker (Culcheth and Newchurch wards) as Culcheth and Glazeburymarker (in Cheshire), Kirkhammarker, Longridgemarker, Preesallmarker, Part of Turtonmarker to be Turton Northmarker, Whitworthmarker, Withnellmarker


Urban Districts
Ashby de la Zouchmarker, Ashby Wouldsmarker, Oakhammarker


Boroughs Urban Districts
Louthmarker, Stamfordmarker, Alfordmarker, Bournemarker, Horncastlemarker, Mablethorpe and Suttonmarker, Market Rasenmarker, Skegnessmarker, Sleafordmarker, Woodhall Spamarker


Urban Districts
Part of Ashton-in-Makerfieldmarker to be Seneley Green, Part of Billinge and Winstanleymarker to be Billinge Chapel Endmarker, Rainfordmarker


Boroughs Urban Districts
Thetfordmarker Cromermarker, Dissmarker, Downham Marketmarker, East Derehammarker, Hunstantonmarker, North Walshammarker, Sheringhammarker, Swaffhammarker, Wells-next-the-Seamarker, Wymondhammarker

North Yorkshire

Boroughs Urban Districts
Richmondmarker, Riponmarker, Fileymarker, Knaresboroughmarker, Maltonmarker, Northallertonmarker, Nortonmarker, Pickeringmarker, Scalbymarker, Selbymarker, Skiptonmarker, Whitbymarker


Boroughs Urban Districts
Brackleymarker, Higham Ferrersmarker Burton Latimermarker, Desboroughmarker, Irthlingboroughmarker, Oundlemarker, Raundsmarker, Rothwellmarker


Urban Districts
Alnwickmarker, Amblemarker, Hexhammarker, Prudhoemarker


Urban Districts
Eastwoodmarker, Warsopmarker


Boroughs Urban Districts
Abingdonmarker, Chipping Nortonmarker, Henley-on-Thamesmarker, Wallingfordmarker, Woodstockmarker Bicestermarker, Thamemarker, Wantagemarker, Witneymarker

Salopmarker (Shropshire)

Urban Districts


Boroughs Urban Districts
Chardmarker, Glastonburymarker, Wellsmarker Burnham-on-Seamarker , Crewkernemarker, Fromemarker, Ilminstermarker, Shepton Malletmarker, Streetmarker, Watchetmarker, Wellingtonmarker

South Yorkshiremarker

Urban Districts
Penistonemarker, Stocksbridgemarker, Tickhillmarker


Urban Districts
Biddulphmarker, Kidsgrovemarker, Leekmarker, Stonemarker, Uttoxetermarker


Boroughs Urban Districts
Aldeburghmarker, Becclesmarker, Eyemarker, Southwoldmarker, Sudburymarker, Bungaymarker, Felixstowemarker, Hadleighmarker, Halesworthmarker, Leiston-cum-Sizewell renamed Leistonmarker, Saxmundhammarker, Stowmarketmarker, Woodbridgemarker


Boroughs Urban Districts
Godalmingmarker Haslemeremarker

Tyne and Wear

Urban Districts


Boroughs Urban Districts
Stratford-upon-Avonmarker renamed Stratford, Warwickmarker Kenilworthmarker

West Sussexmarker

Boroughs Urban Districts
Arundelmarker, Chichestermarker Burgess Hillmarker, East Grinsteadmarker, Littlehamptonmarker

West Yorkshire

Boroughs Urban Districts
Todmordenmarker Denby Dalemarker, Denholmemarker, Featherstonemarker, Hebden Roydmarker, Hemsworthmarker, Holmfirthmarker , Ilkleymarker, Kirkburtonmarker, Melthammarker, Normantonmarker, Otleymarker, Rippondenmarker, Silsdenmarker


Boroughs Urban Districts
Calnemarker, Devizesmarker, Malmesburymarker, Marlboroughmarker, Wiltonmarker Bradford-on-Avonmarker, Melkshammarker, Trowbridgemarker, Warminstermarker, Westburymarker



  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. Local Government Boundary Commission for England: report number 3, Proposals for constitution of parishes
  4. Local Government Boundary Commission for England: report number 5, Parishes: further proposals
  5. Local Government Act 1972, Sections 246 (3) and 247

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