Local Council legal powers

Local council services and powers
Parish Councils have a wide range of powers at their disposal. They can only undertake activities for which they have a specific power. The Parish Council also has a general power to spend money to do anything which it believes may be of direct benefit to the area or its inhabitants.

The following table sets out the main ones; it is not a complete list of every single power and duty.

Allotments;
Duty to provide allotments.
We have the power to improve and adapt land for allotments, and to let grazing rights
Granted by The Small Holding & Allotments Act 1908, ss. 23, 26, and 42

Baths and wash houses;
We have the power to provide public baths and wash houses;
Granted by the Public Health Act 1936, ss. 221, 222, 223 and 227

Burial grounds, cemeteries and crematoria;
We have the power to acquire and maintain. The power to provide and the power to agree to maintain monuments and memorials
This is granted by various acts, the 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;
We have the power to provide and maintain shelters;
Granted by the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1953, s. 4
Bye-laws;
We have the power to make bye-laws in regard to pleasure grounds, Cycle parks, Baths and wash houses, Open spaces and burial grounds and Mortuaries and post-mortem rooms
Granted by 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
Clocks;
We have the power to provide public clocks;
Granted by the Parish Councils Act 1957, s.2

Closed churchyards;
We have the powers as to maintenance;
Granted by the Local Government Act 1972, s.215

Common pastures;
We have  powers in relation to providing common pasture;
Granted by the Smallholdings and Allotments Act 1908, s.34

Conference facilities;
We have power to provide and encourage the use of facilities;
granted by the Local Government Act 1972, s.144

Community centers
Conduct;
We have power to provide and equip buildings for use of clubs having athletic, social or recreational objectives.
We have a duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct;
Granted by the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s.19 and Localism Act 2011, s.27

Crime prevention;
We have powers to install and maintain equipment and establish and maintain a scheme for detection or prevention of crime
Granted by the Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.31
We have power to contribute to police services e.g. PCSOs;
Granted by the Police Act 1996, s.92
There is a duty on Parish Councils to consider crime reduction in every policy and action
Granted by s17 Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (as amended)

Drainage;
We have the power to deal with ponds and ditches;
Granted by Public Health Act 1936, s.260

Dogs;
We have the power to make a Dog Control Order or to take enforcement action against those who commit an offence against a Dog Control Order
Granted by the Cleaner Neighborhoods and Environment Act 2005
Entertainment and the arts;
We can make provision of entertainment and support of the arts
Granted by the Local Government Act 1972, s.145
Flyposting and Graffiti;
We have the power to take enforcement action against those that fly post or graffiti
Granted by the Cleaner Neighborhoods and Environment Act 2005
General Power of Competence
We have the power to do anything that an individual may do, (eligible Councils only);
Granted by the  Localism Act 2011, s.1
Gifts;
We have the power to accept gifts
under the Local Government Act 1972, s.139
Highways;
We have the power to maintain footpaths and bridle-ways, the power to light roads and public places, for the provision of litter bins,. Powers to provide parking places for bicycles and motor-cycles, and other vehicle. Power to enter into agreement as to dedication and widening of the Highway. Power to provide roadside seats and shelters
Consent of parish council is required for ending maintenance of highway at public expense, or for stopping up or diversion of highway
We have the power to complain to highway authority as to unlawful stopping up or obstruction of highway or unlawful encroachment on roadside wastes. The 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;
This is granted by the Highways Act 1980, ss.43,50  the Parish Councils Act 1957, s.3 and the Highways Act 1980, s.301
Litter Act 1983, ss.5,6. The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, ss.57,63, The Highways Act 1980, ss.30,72, the Parish Councils Act 1957, s.1, the Highways Act 1980, ss.47,116, the Highways Act 1980, s.130, The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.72, the Highways Act 1980, s.96
Investments;
We have the power to participate in schemes of collective investment;
Granted by the Trustee Investments Act 1961, s.11
Land;
Power to acquire by agreement, to appropriate, to dispose of land. Power to accept gifts of land.
Granted by the Local Government Act 1972, ss.124, 126, 127 and Local Government Act 1972, s.139

Litter;
We have the power to provide receptacles, the power to take enforcement action against those that litter;
Granted by Litter Act 1983, ss.5,6 and the Cleaner Neighborhoods and Environment Act 2005
Lotteries;
Powers to promote;
granted by the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976, s.7

Mortuaries and post mortem rooms
we have  the powers to provide mortuaries and post mortem rooms
Granted by Public Health Act 1936, s.198

Neighborhood Planning;
We have the power to create a Neighborhood Plan and other development mechanisms;
Granted by the Localism Act, s.116

Open spaces;
We have the power to acquire land and maintain
granted by the Public Health Act 1875, s.164 Open Spaces Act 1906, ss.9 and 10

Parish documents;
We have powers to direct as to their custody;
granted by the Local Government Act 1972, s.226

Public buildings and village hall
We have the power to provide buildings for public meetings and assemblies;
Granted by the Local Government Act 1972, s.133

Public conveniences;
We have the power to provide;
Granted by Public Health Act 1936, s.87

Sustainable communities;
We are able to be represented on a panel of representatives to be consulted on proposals that would contribute to sustainable communities;
Granted by Sustainable Communities Act 2007

Town and country planning;
We have a right to be notified of planning applications;
Granted by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Sched.1, para. 8

Tourism;
We have power to encourage visitors and provide conference and other facilities;
Granted by the Local Government Act 1972, s.144

Traffic calming;
We have powers to contribute financially to traffic calming schemes;
granted by the Highways Act 1980, s.274A

Transport;
We have powers in relation to car-sharing schemes, taxi fare concessions and information about transport. Powers to make grants for bus services;
granted by the Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.26, 28 and 29 and Transport Act 1985, s.106A

War memorials;
We have power to maintain, repair, protect and alter war memorials;
granted by the War Memorials (Local Authorities’ Powers) Act 1923, s.1; as extended by Local Government Act 1948, s.133
Water supply;
We have power to utilise well, spring or stream and to provide facilities for obtaining water from them;