Powers and duties of parish and town councils

Parishes and Town councils provide some local services.

This list is reproduced from a Department of Environment Consultation Paper on "The Role of Parish and Town Councils in England" August 1992. It is intended only as a summary of the principal functions and not intended to be a definitive list of such functions.

Allotments

Powers and duties
Powers to provide allotments. Duty to provide allotment gardens if demand unsatisfied

Statutory provisions
Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908, ss.23, 26 and 42

Baths and washhouses

Powers and duties
Power to provide public baths and washhouses

Statutory provisions
Public Health Act 1936, ss. 221. 222, 223 and 227

Burial grounds, cemeteries and crematoria

Powers and duties
Power to acquire and maintain
Power to provide
Power to agree to maintain monuments and memorials

Statutory provisions
Open Spaces Act 1906, ss.9 and 10; Local Government Act 1972, s. 214; Parish Councils and Burials Authorities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1970, s.1
Power to contribute towards expenses of cemeteries Local Government Act 1972, s.214(6)

Bus shelters

Powers and duties
Power to provide and maintain shelters

Statutory provisions
Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1953, s.4

Bye-laws

Powers and duties
Power to make bye-laws in regard to pleasure grounds
Cycle parks baths and washhouses
Open spaces and burial grounds
Mortuaries and post-mortem rooms

Statutory provisions
Public Health Act 1875, s.164
Road Traffic Regulation
Public Health Act 1936, s.223
Open Spaces Act 1906, s.15
Public Health Act 1936, s.198

Charities

Powers and duties
Duty to receive accounts of parochial charities

Statutory provisions
Charities Act 1960, s.32

Clocks

Powers and duties
Power to provide public clocks

Statutory provisions
Parish Councils Act 1957, s.2

Closed churchyards

Powers and duties
Power as to maintenance

Statutory provisions
Local Government Act 1972, s.215

Commons and common pastures

Powers and duties
Powers in relation to inclosure, as to regulation and management, and as to providing common pasture

Inclosure Act 1845; Local Government Act 1894, s.8(4): Smallholdings and Allotments Act 1908, s.34

Conference facilities

Powers and duties
Power to provide and encourage the use of facilities

Statutory provisions
Local Government Act 1972, s.144

Community centres

Powers and duties
Power to provide and equip buildings for use of clubs having athletic, social or educational objectives

Statutory provisions
Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, s.19

Drainage

Powers and duties
Power to deal with ponds and ditches

Statutory provisions
Public Health Act 1936, s.260

Education

Powers and duties
Right to appoint school governors

Statutory provisions
Education (No 2) Act 1986, s.4

Entertainment and the arts

Powers and duties
Provision of entertainment and support of the arts

Statutory provisions
Local Government Act 1972, s.145

Gifts

Powers and duties
Power to accept

Statutory provisions
Local Government Act 1972, s.139

Highways

Powers and duties
Power to repair and maintain public footpaths and bridleways
Power to light roads and public places
Provision of litter bins
Power to provide parking places for vehicles, bicycles and motor-cycles
Power to enter into an agreement as to dedication and widening
Power to provide roadside seats and shelters, and omnibus shelters
Consent of parish council required for ending maintenance of highway at public expense, or for stopping up or diversion of highway
Power to complain to district council as to protection of rights of way and roadside wastes
Power to provide traffic signs and other notices
Power to plant trees etc. and to maintain roadside verges

Statutory provisions
Highways Act 1980, ss.43.50
Parish Councils Act 1058, s.3; Highways Act 1980, s.301
Litter Act 1983, ss.5.6
Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, ss.57, 63
Highways Act 1980, ss.30, 72
Parish Councils Act 1957, s.1
Highways Act 1980, ss.47, 116
Highways Act 1980, s.130
Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.72
Highways Act 1980, s.96

Investments

Powers and duties
Power to participate in schemes of collective investment

Statutory provisions
Trustee Investments Act 1961, s.11

Land

Powers and duties
Power to acquire by agreement, to appropriate, to dispose of
Power to accept gifts of land

Statutory provisions
Local Government Act 1972, ss.124, 126, 127
Local Government Act 1972, s.139

Litter

Powers and duties
Provision of receptacles

Statutory provisions
Litter Act 1983, ss.5, 6

Lotteries

Powers and duties
Powers to promote

Statutory provisions
Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976, s.7

Mortuaries and post-mortem rooms

Powers and duties
Power to provide mortuaries and post mortem rooms

Statutory provisions
Public Health Act 1936, s.198

Nuisances

Powers and duties
Power to deal with offensive ditches

Statutory provisions
Public Health Act 1936, s.260

Open spaces

Powers and duties
Power to acquire land and maintain

Statutory provisions
Public Health Act 1875, s.164; Open Spaces Act 1906, ss.9 and 10

Parish property and documents

Powers and duties
Powers to direct as to their custody

Statutory provisions
Local Government Act 1972, s.226

Postal and telecommunications

Powers and duties
Power to pay the Post Office, British Telecommunications or any other public telecommunications operator any loss sustained in providing post or telegraph office or telecommunications facilities

Statutory provisions
Post Office Act 1953, s.51: Telecommunications Act 1984, s.97

Public buildings and village halls

Powers and duties
Power to provide buildings for offices and for public meetings and assemblies

Statutory provisions
Local Government Act 1972, s.133

Public conveniences

Powers and duties
Power to provide

Statutory provisions
Public Health Act 1936, s.87

Recreation

Powers and duties
Power to acquire land for or to provide recreation grounds, public walks, pleasure grounds and open spaces and to manage them
Power to provide gymnasiums, playing fields, holiday camps
Provision of boating pools

Statutory provisions
Public Health Act 1875, s.164; Local government Act 1972, Sched. 14, para 27: Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1890, s.44: Open Spaces Act 1906, ss.9 and 10; Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, s.19
Public Health Act 1961, s.54

Town and country planning

Powers and duties
Right to be notified of planning applications

Statutory provisions
Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Sched 1, para 8

Tourism

Powers and duties
Power to contribute to organisations encouraging

Statutory provisions
Local Government Act 1972, s.144

War memorials

Powers and duties
Power to maintain, repair, protect and adapt war memorials

Statutory provisions
War memorials (Local Authorities' Powers) Act 1923, s.1: as extended by Local Government Act 1948, s.133

Water supply

Powers and duties
Power to utilise well, spring or stream and to provide facilities for obtaining water therefrom

Statutory provisions
Public health Act 1936, s.125

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