Some of the Functions, Powers & Duties Statutory Provisions Relating to Parish & Town Councils

Parish and Town Councils have a huge range of Powers which they may use at their discretion. They also have a number of Duties which are mandatory, they are required to act in accordance with that statutory provision. An example would be that a Parish and Town Council must appoint their Chairman as the first business at their Annual Meeting of the Council (Local Government Act 1972 s15 (1).

Parish and Town Councils are Local Authorities by virtue of their name and they have a statutory constitution (Local Government Act 1972 s14).  

Parish and Town Councils are corporate bodies and  therefore responsible for its own actions and liabilities. Officers and Councillors are not personally financially liable for the actions of the Council (Local Government ( Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s39).  

Parish and Town Councillors must observe their Councils, Code of Conduct and fill in a Register of Interest Form (Localism Act 2011 s26 s27)

General Power of Competence - Subject to meeting the statutory criteria a Parish or Town Council may exercise the General Power of Competence, this allows them to do anything that an individual may generally do.  If a Council has resolved to use this power, it becomes the power of first resort and it can also be used along side other powers - Localism Act 2011 s1, The Parish Councils (General Power of Competence) (Prescribed Conditions) Order 2012 

Access land - Power to enforce byelaws made by another authority- Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, s. 17

Allotments - Duty to consider the provision of allotments. Power to improve and adapt land for allotments, and to let grazing rights - Small Holdings & Allotments Act 1908, ss. 23, 26, and 42

Baths and wash houses - Powers relating to provision of public baths, washhouses and bathing huts - Public Health Act 1936, ss. 221 - 223 and 225 - 227

Burial grounds, cemeteries and crematoria -  Power to acquire and maintain - Power to provide- Power to agree to maintain monuments and memorials
Power to contribute towards expenses of cemeteries - Open Spaces Act 1906, Ss 9 and 10; Local Government Act 1972, s. 214; Parish Councils and Burial Authorities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1970, s. 1,  Local Government Act 1972, s. 214(6)

Bus Shelters - Power to provide and maintain sheltersLocal Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1953, s. 4

Bye-laws - Power to make bye-laws in regard to pleasure grounds

Cycle parks, Open spaces and burial grounds, Mortuaries and post-mortem rooms - Public ConveniencesPublic Health Act 1875, s. 164, Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.57(7), Public Health Act 1936, s.223, Open Spaces Act 1906, ss.15 and 12, Public Health Act 1936, s.198, Public Health Act 1936, s. 87

Clocks -  Power to provide public clocks- Parish Councils Act 1957, s.2

Closed churchyards - Powers to maintain a closed churchyard if requested, the responsibility can be passed to a Principle Authority  - Local Government Act 1972, s.215

Commons - Power for parish councils to contribute to expenses relating to a scheme for the regulation and management of a common - Commons Act 1899, s.5

Common pastures - Powers in relation to providing common pasture - Smallholdings and Allotments Act 1908, s.34

Compulsory Purchase of Land - via the Principle Authority, Power to Compulsory Purchase Land - Local Government Act  1972 s124  

Conference facilities - Power to provide and encourage the use of facilities.Local Government Act 1972, s.144

Community centres - Power to provide and equip buildings and facilities for use of clubs having athletic, social or recreational objectives - Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s.19

Crime prevention - Powers to install and maintain equipment and establish and maintain a scheme for detection or prevention of crime- Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.31

Drainage - Power to deal with ponds and ditches - Public Health Act 1936, s.260

Entertainment and the arts - Provision of entertainment and support of the arts - Local Government Act 1972, s.145

Financial assistance - Duty to require informationLocal Government Act 1972, s.137A

General powers - Power to incur expenditure for certain purposes - Local Government Act 1972, s. 137

Gifts - Power to accept - Local Government Act 1972, s.139Highways

Planning - Planning Authorities have a duty to consult with Parish Councils on planning applications in their area,  if requested - Town and Country Planning Act 1990 sch 1, para 8 (1) (2)

Power to maintain footpaths and bridle-waysPower to light roads and public places, Provision of litter bins, Powers to provide parking places for bicycles and motor-cycles, and other vehicles, Power to enter into agreement with another party or authority  to contribute towards parking places - Highways Act 1980, ss.43,50,Parish Councils Act 1957, 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

Power to provide roadside seats and 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 highway authority as to unlawful stopping up or obstruction of highway or unlawful encroachment on roadside wastes, Power to provide traffic signs and other objects or devices warning of danger, Power to plant trees and lay out grass verges etc. and to maintain them -  Highways Act 1980, ss.47,116,  Highways Act 1980, s.130, Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.72, Highways Act 1980, s.96

Investments - Power to participate in schemes of collective investment - Trustee Investments Act 1961, s.11

Land - Power to acquire by agreement, to appropriate, to dispose of ,Power to accept gifts of land - Local Government Act 1972, ss.124, 126, 127, Local Government Act 1972, s.139

Litter - Provision of receptacles - Litter Act 1983, ss.5,6

Lotteries - Powers to promote - Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976, s.7

Mortuaries and post mortem rooms - Powers to provide mortuaries and post mortem rooms- Public Health Act 1936, s.198

Open spaces - Power to acquire land and maintain - Public Health Act 1875, s.164 Open Spaces Act 1906, ss.9 and 10

Parish documents - Powers to direct as to their custody-  Local Government Act 1972, s.226

Public buildings and village hall - Power to provide buildings for public meetings and assemblies -Local Government Act 1972, s.133

Public convenience -Powers relating to provision of public conveniences - Public Health Act 1936, s.87

Recreation- Power to acquire land for or to provide public walks, pleasure grounds and open spaces and to manage and control them, Power to provide gymnasiums and playing fields, Provision of boating pools - Public Health Act 1875, s.164 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

Tourism - Power to encourage visitors and provide conference and other facilitiesLocal Government Act 1972, s.144Traffic calming

Powers to contribute financially to traffic calming schemes- Highways Act 1980, s.274A

Transport- Powers in relation to car-sharing schemes, taxi fare concessions and information about transport, Powers to make grants for bus services-            Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.26, 28 and 29, Transport Act 1985, s.106A

War memorials- Power to maintain, repair, protect and alter war memorials - War Memorials (Local Authorities' Powers) Act 1923, s.1; as extended by Local Government Act 1948, s.133

Water supply - Power to utilise well, spring or stream and to provide facilities for obtaining water from themPublic Health Act 1936, s.125