Duties and Powers of the Parish Council

For a description of the role of the Parish Councillor (a pdf file) click here.

Statutory Duties
Parish Councils have very few statutory duties but they do have some:

  • They must meet four times per year
  • They must have a chairman
  • They must consider the adoption of a churchyard when it is closed
  • They must consider the provision of allotments if there is a request from six or more electors
  • They must consider any effect on biodiversity in their actions
  • They must consider the effect on crime and disorder in their actions

Powers of the Parish Council
These are some of the powers that the Parish Council has, always assuming the funds are available. NOTE: These are powers, not obligations. In addition, if the Council undertakes anything using their powers it has to be aware of law relating to that activity – Employment Law, Health and Safety, Insurance etc.

Where a power is marked with an asterisk the Parish Council may, in addition to exercising the power itself, help another body to act by giving financial assistance

Parish Council Powers include:

Allotments:  Power to provide and maintain allotments for cultivation

Burial Grounds, Cemeteries and Churchyards *:  Powers to provide and maintain and power to contribute to the costs of a churchyard in use

Bus Shelters *:  Power to provide and maintain bus shelters

Bylaws:  Power to make bylaws in regard to:

  •  Pleasure grounds
  • Cycle parks
  • Baths and Washhouses
  • Open spaces and burial grounds
  • Mortuaries and post-mortem rooms

Clocks *:  Provision and maintenance of public clocks, on churches or elsewhere.

Community Centres, Public Buildings and Village Halls * :  Power to provide and equip buildings for public meetings and functions, or for the use of clubs or societies having recreational, social or athletic objects.

Crime Prevention *:  Powers to spend money on various crime prevention measures

Footpaths and Rights of Way:  Power to repair and maintain public footpaths and bridleways

Litter *:  Provision of litter-bins in streets and support for anti-litter campaigns

Planning:  Local councils have a right to be notified of any planning application affecting their area and to make comments which the planning authority must take into account.

Roadside Verges:  Power to plant and maintain roadside verges.

Seats *:  Provision and maintenance of public seats

Signs:  Power to erect signs which warn of dangers or announce a place name, or indicate a bus stop.

Traffic Calming:  Powers to contribute financially to traffic calming schemes

Transport *:  Powers to spend money on community transport schemes

War memorials:  Power to maintain, repair, protect and adapt war memorials

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