Parish Councillors

Duties and Powers

Duty to provide facilities
Allotments, duty to consider providing allotment gardens if demand unsatisfied.
Power to provide facilities
Buildings for community use, such as village halls, town halls or community centres
Recreational facilities, such as parks, playgrounds, playing fields and swimming baths.
Cemeteries and crematoria, including maintenance of war memorials.
Public facilities, such as litter bins, public seats, public toilets and public clocks.
Cycle and motorcycle parking.
Maintenance of rights of way.
Guardianship of common land, such as village greens.
Consultative powers
All planning applications in their areas.
Intention to provide a burial ground in the parish.
Proposals to carry out sewerage works.
Footpath and bridleway (more generally, 'rights of way') surveys.
Intention to make byelaws in relation to hackney carriages, music and dancing, promenades, sea shore and street naming.
The appointment of governors of primary schools.
Miscellaneous power
Miscellaneous powers
Sponsoring public events.
Support of the arts and provision of entertainment.
Encouragement of tourism.
Providing grants to local voluntary organisations.
Funding crime prevention measures.
Providing grants for bus services, and funding community transport schemes.
Contribution of money towards traffic calming schemes.
Cleaning and drainage of ponds, watercourses and ditches.
Power to obtain water from any well, spring or stream.
Creation of a neighbourhood plan.
Power to acquire or dispose of land.
Withholding of consent to stop up unclassified highways and footpaths.
Appointing trustees of local charities.
Power to make byelaws in regard to pleasure grounds, cycle parks, baths and washhouses, open spaces and burial grounds, and mortuaries and post-mortem rooms.
General power of competence

Under the Localism Act 2011 eligible parish councils can be granted a "general power of competence" (GPC) which allows them within certain limits the freedom to do anything an individual can do provided it is not prohibited by other legislation, as opposed to being limited to the powers explicitly granted to them by law. To be eligible for this a parish council must meet certain conditions, such as at least two-thirds of the councillors being elected as opposed to being co-opted or appointed, and having a clerk with suitable qualifications.

In principle the GPC can allow councils to engage in a range of activities such as setting up a trading company or co-operative to lend or invest money, run a local shop, post office or energy company. Or allow it to contribute towards the provision of a service by another authority.