Get your free website from Spanglefish

Duties & Powers of Parish Councils

Duties are things your Parish Council MUST do.  Powers are things they MAY CHOOSE to do.

S137:  In addition to the specific list below, Section 137(1) of the 1972 Act permits each Parish Council to spend public money on activities for which it has no other specific powers if the Council considers that the expenditure is in the interests of, and will bring direct benefit to, the area or any part of it, or all or some of its inhabitants, providing that the benefit is commensurate with the expenditure. They are also permitted under section 137(3) to incur expenditure for certain charitable and other purposes. The maximum expenditure that can be incurred under both section 137(1) and (3) combined for the financial year 2019 -2019 is £7.86 per elector (for us, a maximum of £1383) and for the financial year 2020 -2021 will be £8.32 (a maximum of £1464).

The Council is permitted by law to raise and spend tax payers money on the following:


Powers & Duties

Statutory Provisions


Duty to provide allotments. 

Power to improve and adapt land for allotments, and to let grazing rights

Small Holding & Allotments Act 1908, ss. 23, 26, and 42

Baths and washhouses

Power to provide public baths and washhouses

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

Borrowing Money

Power for councils to borrow

money for their statutory

functions or for the prudent

management of their

financial affairs

 Local Government Act 2003,

Schedule 1, para. 2

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 Provision) Act 1953, s. 4


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 Health Act 1875, s. 164

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

Public Health Act 1936, s.223

Open Spaces Act 1906, s.15

Public Health Act 1936, s.198


Duties in respect of

parochial charities

Power to act as charity


 Charities Act 2011, ss.298-303


Local Government Act 1972,

s.139 (1)


Power to provide public clocks

Parish Councils Act 1957, s.2

Closed churchyards

Powers as to maintenance

Local Government Act 1972, s.215

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


Duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s.19



Localism Act 2011, s.27


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


Power to contribute to police services e.g. PCSOs

Police Act 1996, s.92


Duty on Parish Councils to consider crime reduction in every policy and action

s17 Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (as amended)


Power to deal with ponds and ditches

Public Health Act 1936, s.260


Power to make a Dog Control Order

Power to take enforcement action against those who commit an offence against a Dog Control Order

Cleaner Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005

Entertainment and the arts

Provision of entertainment and support of the arts

Local Government Act 1972, s.145




Power to take enforcement action against those that fly-post or use graffiti


Cleaner Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005


 General Power of Competence

 Power to do anything that an individual may do (eligible Councils only)

 Localism Act 2011, s.1


Power to accept

Local Government Act 1972, s.139


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

Honorary Titles

Power to admit to be honorary

freemen/ freewomen of the

council’s area persons of

distinction and persons who

have, in the opinion of the

authority, rendered eminent

services to that place or area.

Local Government Act 1972,



Power to participate in schemes of collective investment

Trustee Investments Act 1961, s.11


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


Provision of receptacles

Power to take enforcement action against those that litter

Litter Act 1983, ss.5,6

Cleaner Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005


Powers to promote

Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976, s.7


Power to establish or acquire

by agreement markets

within the council’s area and

provide a market place and

market buildings

Food Act 1984, s.50

Mortuaries and post mortem rooms


Powers to provide mortuaries and post mortem rooms


Public Health Act 1936, s.198



Neighbourhood Planning

 Power to create a Neighbourhood Plan and other development mechanisms

Localism Act, 2011 s.116


Power to provide information

relating to matters affecting

local government


Local Government Act, 1972 s.142

Open spaces

Power to acquire land and maintain

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

Parish documents and property

Powers to receive and retain


Duty to deposit certain

published works in specific

deposit libraries

Local Government Act 1972, s.226


Legal Deposit Libraries Act

2003, s.1

Public buildings and village hall

Power to provide buildings for public meetings and assemblies

Local Government Act 1972, s.133

Public conveniences

Power to provide

Public Health Act 1936, s.87

Right to


services that

are provided

by a principal


The right 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


The right to nominate assets

to be added to a list of

assets of community value

and the right to bid to buy a

listed asset when it comes

up for sale

Localism Act 2011, ss.87-108

Town and country planning

Right to be notified of planning applications

Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Sched.1, para. 8


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


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


Power for councils to have

their own websites

 Local Government Act 1972,


Click for Map WikanikoWork from Home
site map | cookie policy | privacy policy | accessibility statement