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Parish Council Powers

Note – this is not an exhaustive list, but provides the key powers attributable to the Parish Council.


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

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

Burial grounds, cemeteries and

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.

Bus shelters

Power to provide and maintain

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


Power to provide public clocks

Parish Councils Act 1957, s.2

Closed churchyards

Powers as to maintenance

Local Government Act 1972,

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,

Community centres

Power to provide and equip
buildings for use of clubs having
athletic, social or recreational

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
Power to contribute to police
services e.g. PCSO’s
Duty on Parish Councils to consider
crime reduction in every policy and

Local Government and Rating
Act 1997, s.31
Police Act 1996, s92
S17 Crime and Disorder Act
1998 (as amended)


Power to deal with ponds and

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,

Flyposting and Graffiti

Power to take enforcement action
against those that flypost or graffiti

Cleaner Neighbourhoods and
Environment Act 2005


Power to accept

Local Government Act 1972,


Power to maintain footpaths and
Power to light roads and public
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
Power to provide traffic signs and
other objects or devices warning of
Power to plant trees and lay out
grass verges etc. and to maintain

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


Power to participate in schemes of
collective investment

Trustee Investments Act 1961,


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,


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

Mortuaries and post mortem

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,

Telecommunications facilities

Power to pay public
telecommunications operators any
loss sustained providing
telecommunication facilities

Telecommunications Act 1984,

Public buildings and village hall

Power to provide buildings for public
meetings and assemblies

Local Government Act 1972,

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

Town and country planning

Right to be notified of planning

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


Power to encourage visitors and
provide conference and other

Local Government Act 1972,

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

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

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 to well-being of the area (for
eligible councils)

s2 and 4 of the Local
Government Act 2000 (as
amended by Part 4 of the
Local Government and Public
Involvement in Health Act

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