A summary of the Powers, Duties and Statutory provisions which enable the Parish Council to operate. This advice was supplied by the Society of Local Council Clerks and was last updated in July 2012; amendments may be pending.

Half of the Parish Council powers come from the Local Government Act 1972. This legislation is already fifty years old; some is closer to ninety years old. These powers are extended once the Parish Council employs a Clerk having achieved CiLCA qualifications or above.

Some of these powers (Northamptonshire Highways and Archives) are retained by the local Unitary Council: West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), enacted in May 2021.

Function

Powers & Duties

Statutory Provisions

Allotments

Powers to provide allotments. Duty
to provide allotment gardens if
demand unsatisfied

Smallholdings & Allotments Act 1908, ss 23, 26 and 42

Baths and Washhouses

Power to provide public baths and washhouses

Public Health Act 1936, s 221

Burial grounds, cemeteries and crematoria

Power to acquire and maintain

Open Spaces Act 1906, ss 9 and 10;

Power to provide

Local Government Act 1972, s.214;

Power to agree to maintain monuments and memorials

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

Power to contribute towards expenses of cemeteries

Local Government Act 1972, s.214(6)

Bus Shelters

Power to provide and maintain shelters

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

Parish Councils Act 1957

Bye Laws

Power to make bye-laws in regard to pleasure grounds

Public Health Act 1875, s.164;

Cycle Parks

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

Baths and Washhouses (see above)

Public Health Act 1936, s.223

Open spaces and burial grounds

Public Health Act 1936, s.198

Charities

Duties re parochial charities

Charities Act 2011 s. 298

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 and common pastures

Powers in relation to enclosure, and as to providing common pasture

Inclosure Act 1845; 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 spend money on various crime prevention measures

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

Gifts

Power to accept

Local Government Act 1972, s.139

Highways

Power to repair and maintain public footpaths and bridle-ways
Retained by WNC.

Highways Act 1980, ss.43, 50

Power to light roads and public places

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

Provision of litter bins

Litter Act 1983, ss.5, 6

Power to provide parking places for vehicles, bicycles and motor-cycles

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, ss.57, 63

Power to enter into agreement as to dedication and widening.
Retained by WNC.

Highways Act 1980, ss.30, 72

Power to provide roadside seats and shelters, and omnibus shelters

Parish Councils Act 1957, s.1

Consent of parish council required for ending maintenance of highway at public expense, or for stopping up or diversion of highway

Highways Act 1980, ss.47, 116

Power to complain to highway authority as to protection of rights of
way and roadside wastes.
Retained by WNC.

Highways Act 1980, s.130

Power to provide traffic signs and other notices. Retained by WNC.

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.72

Power to plant trees etc. and to maintain roadside verges.
Retained by WNC, in part contracted to the Parish Council.

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 land

Local Government Act 1972, ss.124, 126, 127

Power to accept gifts of land

Local Government Act 1972, s.139

Litter

Provision of receptacles

Litter Act 1983, ss.5, 6

Lotteries

Having a lottery operating licence

Gambling Act 2005, s.98

Mortuaries and post mortem rooms

Powers to provide mortuaries and post mortem rooms

Public Health Act 1936, s.198

Nuisances

Power to deal with offensive ditches

Public Health Act 1936, s.260

Open spaces

Power to acquire land and maintain

Open Spaces Act 1906, ss.9 and 10

Parish Property and Documents

Powers to direct as to their custody

Local Government Act 1972, s.226

Provision of depositories. Northamptonshire Archive under WNC.

Local Government Act 1972, s.227

Public buildings and village hall

Power to provide buildings for offices and for public meetings and assemblies

Local Government Act 1972, s.133

Public Conveniences

Power to provide

Public Health Act 1936, s.87

Recreation

Power to acquire land for or to provide recreation grounds, public walks, pleasure grounds and open spaces and to manage and control them

Public Health Act 1875, s.164
Local Government Act 1972, Sched.14 para.27
Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1890, s.44
Open Spaces Act 1906, ss.9 and 10

Power to provide gymnasiums, playing fields, holiday camps

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

Provision of boating pools

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 contribute to organisations encouraging tourism

Local Government Act 1972, s.144

Traffic Calming

Powers to contribute financially to traffic calming schemes

Highways Act 1980, s.274A

Transport

Powers to spend money on community transport schemes

Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.26-29

War memorials

Power to maintain, repair, protect and adapt 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 therefrom

Public Health Act 1936, s.125