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Powers of Parish Councils

 

Subject

Summary of Discretionary Powers

Legislation

Allotments

Power to provide land for allotments and to enter into allotment tenancies in or outside the council’s area

 

Small Holding and Allotments Act 1908,ss.23, 25

Allowances for councillors

Power to pay councillors allowances

Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England)Regulations 2003 - England

Ancillary power

Power to do anything that will facilitate, be conductive to or incidental to the discharge of its powers and functions

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.111

Bands and orchestras

Powers to maintain a band or orchestra or contribute to the maintenance of a band or orchestra in or outside the council’s area

 

Power to charge for admission to performances

 

Local Government Act 1972,

s.145(1)(c)

 

Local Government Act 1972,

s.145(2)

Bicycles and motor cycles – parking places

Power to provide and maintain parking places for bicycles and motor cycles in the council’s area.

Power to provide stands and racks for bicycles and motor cycles in the council’s area.

Power to make byelaws for the use of and charging for parking places

 

Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984, s.57(1)(a)

Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984, s.63

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.57(7) - England

Boating Pools

Power to provide a boating pool in a park provided or managed by the council.

Power to charge a reasonable amount for its use

 

Public Health Act 1961, s.54(1)

 

Public Health Act 1961, s.54(3)

Borrowing money

Power to borrow money with approval where necessary

Local Government Act 2003,

Schedule 1, paragraph 2

 

Burial grounds and cemeteries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subject

Power to provide and maintain open space or burial ground in or outside the council’s area.

 

Power to maintain for payment a monument or memorial on a private grave (for no more than 99 years) in the council’s area.

 

Power to provide and maintain cemeteries in or outside the council’s area.

Power to contribute towards the maintenance of cemeteries where the inhabitants of the council’s area may be buried.

Summary of Discretionary Power/Duties

Open Spaces Act 1906, ss.9-10

 

Parish Councils and Burial Authorities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1970, s.1

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.214(2)

 

Local Government Act  1972,

s.214(6)

Local Authorities’ Cemeteries Order 1977

Legislation

 

Power to grant rights of burial, to place and maintain tombstones or memorials on graves and to charge fees.

 

Power to make byelaws

 

Open Spaces Act 1906

s.15 - England

Bus Shelters

Power to provide and maintain bus shelters on roads or land adjoining roads in the council’s area

 

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

Byelaws

Power to make byelaws

See specific subject areas in this table

Car parks (off-road)

Power to provide and maintain suitable off-road car parking places in the council’s area to relieve or prevent traffic congestion or to preserve local amenities.

 

Power to regulate use of car parks and charge for their use.

 

Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984, s.57(1)(b)

 

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, ss.59(3), 35(1)

Car Sharing Schemes

Power to establish and maintain a car sharing scheme that benefits the council’s area or to assist other in doing so

 

Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.26

Charging for discretionary services

Power to charge on a cost recovery basis (i.e. not to make any profit) if the council has discretion to provide a service.  Power does not apply if the council has a separate power to charge for provision of a service or it is prohibited from charging for it.

 

Local Government Act 2003. s.93

Charities

Power to act as trustee of non-ecclesiastical charity

Charities Act 2011, ss.298-303

Local Government Act 1972, s.139(1)

Cinemas

Power to provide a cinema, or contribute towards the expenses of a cinema in or outside the council’s area.

Power to charge for admission to a cinema provided by the council

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.145(1)(b)

Local Government Act 1972, s.145(2)

Clocks

Power to provide and maintain public clocks within the council’s area

 

Parish Councils Act 1957, s.2

 

Closed Churchyards

Power to maintain a closed churchyard in the council’s area if requested to do so by a parochial church council

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.215

 

 

 

Subject

Summary of Discretionary Powers & Duties

Legislation

Commons and common pastures

Power to provide land in the council’s area for common pasture if the council’s expenditure can be recovered from any charges it makes for use of the land

Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908, s.34

Community gardens

Power to provide and maintain open space as gardens in or outside the council’s area

 

Open Spaces Act 1906, ss.9-10

Conference facilities

Power to provide and encourage the use of facilities in the council’s area

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.144

Contracts

Power to enter into contracts

Local Government Act 1972, s.111

Crime prevention

Power to spend money on crime detection and prevention measures in the council’s area

 

Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.31

Dance halls

Power to provide premises for dances or to contribute to the expenses of dances in or outside the council’s area.

 

Power to charge for admission to dances provided by the council

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.145(1)(a)

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.145(2)

Ditches and ponds

Power to deal with ditches, ponds, pools and gutters by draining them or preventing them from being harmful to public health.

 

Power to carry out works for their maintenance or improvements or to pay other to do this

 

Public Health Act 1936, s260

 

Public Health Act 1936, s.260

Dog control orders

Power to make orders for dog control offences for land in the council’s area.

 

Power to issue fixed penalty notices for offences committed under dog control orders.

 

Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, s.55

 

Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, s.59

Employment of staff

Power to appoint staff

Local Government Act 1972, s.112

Fetes and other events

Power to provide entertainments and facilities for dancing in or outside the council’s area.

 

Power to charge for admission

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.145(1)(a)

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.145(2)

General power of competence – England

Power for an eligible council to do anything subject to statutory prohibitions, restrictions and limitations which include those in place before or after the introduction of the general power of competence.

Localism Act 2011, ss.1-8

Subject

Summary of Discretionary Powers & Duties

Legislation

Gifts

Power to accept gifts

Local Government Act 1972, s. 139

Graffiti

Power to issue fixed penalty notices for graffiti offences in the council’s area

Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, s.43

Honorary titles

Power to confer titles of honorary freeman or freewoman

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.249

Indemnities

Power to indemnify councillors and staff with insurance cover

Local Government Act 2000, s.101

Local Authorities (Indemnities for Members and Officers) Order 2004 - England

Investments

Power to invest property in approved schemes

 

Trustee Investments Act 1961, s.11

Land/premises

Power to purchase or sell land in or outside the council’s area

 

Power to appropriate land for an authorised purpose

 

Power to accept and maintain gifts of land

Local Government Act 1972, ss.124, 127

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.126

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.139

Life-saving appliances

Power to provide life-saving appliances (e.g. life belts, defibrillators)

 

Public health Act 1936, s.234

Lighting

Power to light roads and public places in the council’s area

 

Parish Councils Act 1957, s.3; Highways Act 1980, s.301

Litter

Power to issue fixed penalty notices for litter offences in the council’s area

 

Environmental Protection Act 1990, s.88

Litter bins

Power to provide and maintain litter bins in streets or other public spaces and contribute to their provision and maintenance

 

Litter Act 1983, ss.5-6

Lotteries

Power to promote lotteries

 

Gambling Act 2005, ss.98, 252

Market

Power to establish markets in the council’s area and provide a market place and market buildings

 

Power for a council that maintains a market to make byelaws

 

Food Act 1984, s.50

 

Food Act 1984, s.60 - England

Mortuaries and post-mortem rooms

Power to provide mortuaries and post-mortem rooms

Power to make byelaws to manage and charge for the use of mortuaries and post-mortem rooms

Public Health Act 1936, s.198

 

Public Health Act 1936, s.198 – England

Subject

Summary of Discretionary Powers & Duties

Legislation

Neighbourhood planning – England

Power to act as the lead body for the establishment of a neighbourhood development order or a neighbourhood development plan

Town and County Planning Act 1990, s.61F(1),(2)

 

Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, s.38C(2)

Newsletters etc.

Power to publish information about the council, its services and the services provided in the council’s area by other local authorities, government departments, charities and other voluntary organisations

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.142

Non-councillors

Power to appoint non-councillors to council committees and sub-committees

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.102(3)

Open spaces

Power to provide and maintain land for public recreation

 

Power to make byelaws

 

Power to provide and maintain land for open spaces in or outside the council’s area

 

Power to make byelaws

 

Public Health Act 1875, s.164 – England

 

Open Spaces Act 1906, ss.9-10

 

Open Spaces Act 1906, s.15 – England

 

Parish meetings – England Only

Power to convene

Local Government Act 1972, Schedule 12, paragraph 15

Planning applications

Power to be notified of planning applications affecting the council’s area and to comment

 

Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Schedule 1, paragraph 8

Precept

Power to raise a precept

Local Government Finance Act 1992, s.41

Public buildings and village halls

Power to provide buildings for public meetings and assemblies or contribute towards the expenses of providing such buildings

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.133

Public rights of way

Power to repair and maintain public footpaths and bridleways in the council’s area

 

Power to enter into agreement to dedicate a road as highway in the council’s area or an adjoining parish or community area

 

Power to enter into agreement to widen existing highway in the council’s area or an adjoining parish or community area

 

Power to provide warning notices on footpaths and bridleways

 

Highways Act 1980, ss. 43,50

 

Highways Act 1980, s.30

 

Highways Act 1980, s.72

 

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.72(2)

Subject

Summary of Discretionary Powers & Duties

Legislation

Public toilets

Power to provide public toilets

 

Power to make byelaws

 

Public Health Act 1936, s.87 – England

Recreation

Power to provide and manage recreation grounds, public walks, pleasure grounds and open spaces

 

Power to make byelaws

 

Power to provide and contribute to a wide range of recreational facilities in or outside the council’s area

 

Public Health Act 1875, s.164 – England

 

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

Right to challenge services that are provided by a principal authority – England

Power to submit an interest in running a service provided by a district, county or unitary authority

Localism Act 2011, ss.81-86

Right to nominate and bid for assets of community value – England

Power to nominate assets to be added to a list of assets of community value

 

Power to bid to buy a listed asset when it come up for sale

 

 

Localism Act 2011, ss.87-108

Roads

Power to consent or not consent to the local highway authority stopping maintenance of a road in the council’s area or stopping up/diverting a road in the council’s area

 

Power to complain to the local highway authority about the obstruction of rights of way and “roadside waste” in the  council’s area

 

Power to plant and maintain trees and shrubs, and lay out grass verges in the council’s area

 

Power to provide and maintain seats and shelters on roads and land bordering any road in the council’s area

 

Highways Act 1980, ss.47,116

 

Highways Act 1980, s.130

 

Highways Act 1980, s.96

 

Parish Councils Act 1957, s.1

Sports and recreational facilities

Power to provide sports facilities in or outside the council’s area or contribute towards the expenses of any voluntary organisation or local authority that provides sports facilities in or outside the council’s area

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

Subject

Summary of Discretionary Powers & Duties

Legislation

Swimming pools

Power to provide public baths

 

Power to charge for use of public baths

 

Power to make byelaws

Public Health Act 1936, s.221

 

Public Health Act 1936, s.222

 

Public Health Act 1936, s.223 – England

Traffic signs

Power to provide traffic signs on roads

Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984, s.72(1)

Theatres

Power to provide a theatre or contribute towards their expenses in or outside the council’s area

 

Power to charge for admission to a theatre provided by the council

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.145(1)(b)

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.145(2)

Tourism

Power to encourage tourism to the council’s area or contribute to organisations encouraging tourism

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.144

Traffic calming

Power to make payments to a highway authority for traffic calming schemes for the benefit of the council’s area

 

Highways Act 1980, s.274A

War memorials

Power to maintain, repair and protect war memorials in the council’s area

War Memorials (Local Authorities’ Powers) Act 1923, s.1

Water

Power to make use of wells, springs or streams in the council’s area and provide facilities for obtaining water from them

 

Public Health Act 1936, s.125

Websites

Power to provide a website to give information about the council, its services and the services provided in the area by other local authorities, government departments, charities or other voluntary organisations

 

Local Government Act 1972, s.142

 

 

April 2014