The parish includes the villages of Watchfield, Southwick and Edithmead. The developed fringes of eastern Burnham itself are also in the parish.
The parish in 2011 had a population of 796.
The civil parish was formed in 1896, when the rural areas of the civil parish of Highbridge (itself created only in 1894 out of the large parish of Burnham) were separated from the urban area of Highbridge. The parish formed part of Axbridge Rural District until 1974, when it joined the new District of Sedgemoor.
The parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny on their associated web site. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, and on matters of local concern and traffic. The parish council's role also includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, as well as consulting with the district council on planning matters and the maintenance, repair, and improvement of highways, drainage, footpaths, public transport, and street cleaning. Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and environmental issues are also the responsibility of the council.
The village falls within the Non-metropolitan district of Sedgemoor, which was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, having previously been part of Axbridge Rural District, which is responsible for local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection and recycling, cemeteries and crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism.
Somerset County Council is responsible for running the largest and most expensive local services such as education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, policing and fire services, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning.
It is also part of the Wells county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election, and part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.
- "Statistics for Wards, LSOAs and Parishes — SUMMARY Profiles" (Excel). Somerset Intelligence. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
- Vision of Britain website
- "Axbridge RD". A vision of Britain Through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 4 January 2014.