Read is in the Ribble Valley Parliamentary Constituency (Ribble Valley North East County Electoral Division). There are approximately 600 houses and 1160 electors on the Register of Electors. The population figure is estimated at c.1500.
The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council is held in May when officers are appointed for 12 months. The Annual Parish Meeting is also held in May to which all residents are invited and have an opportunity to question councillors on any matters relating to the parish. Members of the public are welcome to attend Parish Council Meetings.
Parish Council elections are held every four years. Read Parish Council has 8 councillors and if there are insufficient nominations the council must co-opt.
The council precepts annually in November and must take into consideration the cost of general administration, playground maintenance, recreation ground, allotments and any major projects. General administration includes insurance, subscriptions, audit fees and the servicing of Dog Waste Bins. The precept is paid by Ribble Valley Borough Council in May. The amount raised in precept by the District Council is based on the number of Band 'D' properties in the parish. Recreational and Leisure Grants are available from the District Council and applications for these are invited before 31 January annually. The Parish Council Accounts are subject to an annual audit.
The parish council owns and is responsible for the maintenance of:
a) Recreation Ground & Kick-about area
b) Children's Playground
c) Church Street garden
d) Eight public benches
e) Five Dog Waste Bins
The Recreation Ground and Allotments are held in trust by the Charity Commission. The Recreation Ground was given to the parish in 1920 by Joseph Kemp, owner of the Friendship and Victoria Mills and the allotments were purchased from Richard Fort in 1895. Rents are paid in advance annually in November and the rent is reviewed annually prior to precepting. Tenants not conforming to the rules of letting are requested to vacate their allotment. Allotment holders must be resident in Read or Simonstone.
The council receives annual rent from the following:
b) Read Motor Body Centre
c) Read Cricket Club
d) Read United AFC
Read Parish Council has one representative on each of the following committees:
a) Read School Board of Governors
b) Ribble Valley Borough Council Liaison Committee
c) Lancs. Association of Parish & Town Councils
d) Police & Community Forum.
A sub-committee is responsible for viewing all planning applications for the parish. The council must take into consideration siting and suitability together with any local information pertaining to the application. Only valid observations can be made.
Street lights, main roads and public footpaths are maintained by Lancashire County Council, which is also responsible for tree preservation orders and general highway matters. Maintenance of street furniture, street cleaning and refuse collection are the responsibility of the District Council.
The parish council has two District Councillors (jointly representing Read and the neighbouring parish of Simonstone) and one County Councillor.