The following information about the powers and responsibilities of parish councils is taken from the Governance Toolkit for Parish and Town Councils (version 3. 2009). It is not an exhaustive list.


Powers & Duties

Statutory Provisions
Allotments 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
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
Bye-laws Power to make bye-laws in regard to pleasure groundsCycle parksBaths and washhousesOpen spaces and burial grounds

Mortuaries and post-mortem rooms

Public Health Act 1875, s. 164Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.57(7)Public Health Act 1936, s.223Open Spaces Act 1906, s.15

Public Health Act 1936, s.198

Clocks 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 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.31Power to contribute to police services e.g. PCSOsDuty on Parish Councils to consider crime reduction in every policy and action Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.31Police Act 1996, s.92s17 Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (as amended)
Drainage Power to deal with ponds and ditches Public Health Act 1936, s.260
Dogs 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
Flyposting and graffiti Power to take enforcement action against those that flypost or graffiti Cleaner Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005
Gifts Power to accept Local Government Act 1972, s.139
Highways Power to maintain footpaths and bridle-ways
Power to light roads and public placesProvision of litter binsPowers to provide parking places for bicycles and motor-cycles, and other vehiclesPower 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.43,50Parish Councils Act 1957, s.3;Highways Act 1980, s.301Litter 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, 127Local Government Act 1972, s.139
Litter Provision of receptaclesPower to take enforcement action against those that litter Litter Act 1983, ss.5,6Cleaner Neighbourhoods andEnvironment Act 2005
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
Telecommunications facilities Power to pay public telecommunications operators any loss sustained providing telecommunication facilities Telecommunications Act 1984, s.97
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
Sustainable communities Able to be represented on a panel of representatives to be consulted on proposals that would contribute to sustainable communities Sustainable Communities Act 2007
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 transportPowers to make grants for bus services Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.26, 28 and 29Transport 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
Well-Being Power to well-being of the area (for eligible councils) s2 & 4 of the Local Government Act 2000 (as amended by Pt 4 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007)