In England, town councils are civil parish councils, where the civil parish has declared itself to be a town. Civil parishes are the most local level of elected governance, under the district, unitary or county level. Any parish can decide to describe itself as a town. The chairman of a town council is technically called a town mayor. The term "town mayor" is used as opposed to simply "mayor", which means the mayor of a borough or a city. However, this is often abbreviated simply to mayor, especially where the town was historically a borough or city.
On the Isle of Wight there is a Unitary Council with 33 Parish & Town Councils across the Island - Sandown Town Council being one of those 33. It is a consultee for Planning applications, it looks after the illuminations, as opposed to the Street Lights, the Lifeguard Hut and Sandham Gardens. During the coming years it is likely to take full or partial responsibility for some open spaces, beach cleaning and public toilets.