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Powers and Duties of Parish Councils


Function Powers & Duties Statutory Provisions

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

Allotments Duty to provide 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 washhouses 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 shelters Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1953, s. 4

Bye-laws 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
Public Conveniences
Public 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 as to maintenance  Local Government Act 1972, s.215

 Commons Power for parish council to contribute to expense relating to 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

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 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 information Local 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.139

Highways Power to maintain footpaths and bridle-ways
Power 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 as to dedication and widening
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.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

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

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 conveniences 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, playing fields, holiday camps
Provision of boating pools
(see Local Government Act 1972, Sched.14 para.27)
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

Town and country planning Right to be notified of planning applications Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Sched.1, para.8

Tourism Power to encourage visitors and provide conference and other facilities Local Government Act 1972, s.144

Traffic 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 them Public Health Act 1936, s.125
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