Coniston grew as a farming village and serving local copper and slate mines. During the Victorian era it developed as a tourist location partially through the construction of a branch of the Furness Railway which closed in the late 1950’s / early 1960’s.
Today, Coniston is a popular tourist resort with a thriving village community. The nearest large villages are Hawkshead 4 miles away and Ambleside 8 miles away. Nearly 50% of the housing stock in Coniston is now second homes and holiday houses. There is a good range of local services and social amenities with a primary and secondary school, fire station, post office and shops with basic supplies. The main employment locally is agricultural and tourism with many other local businesses. Coniston has wide range of social and recreational opportunities. The population of the Parish is 928 (Census 2011).
Parish Councils provide the statutory tier of local government closest to the people set up under the Local Government Act 1972. Parish Councils are an essential part of the structure of local democracy and have a vital role in acting on behalf of the communities they represent. They:
- give views, on behalf of the community, on planning applications and other proposals that affect the parish
- undertake projects and schemes that benefit local residents
- work in partnership with other bodies to achieve benefits for the parish
- alert relevant authorities to problems that arise or work that needs to be undertaken
- help the other tiers of local government keep in touch with their local communities.
Parish Councils have a wide range of legal duties and powers, such as the maintenance of community buildings and land and much more. They have the power to raise money through the local council tax (known as the precept).