Cumbria Association of Local Councils

Powers and Duties of Local Councils

Local Councils have a wide range of powers and duties. The following table sets out the main ones; it is not a complete list of every single power and duty.

Function

Powers & Duties

Statutory Provisions

Allotments

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 washhouses

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

Burial grounds, cemeteries and crematoria

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. 214(6)

Bus shelters

Power to provide and maintain shelters

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1953, s. 4

Bye-laws

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

Clocks

Power to provide public clocks

Parish Councils Act 1957, s.2

Closed churchyards

Powers as to maintenance

Local Government Act 1972, s.215

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, s.144

Community centres

Conduct

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

Duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s.19

Localism Act 2011, s.27

Crime prevention

Powers to install and maintain equipment and establish and maintain a scheme for detection or prevention of crime

Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.31

Power to contribute to police services e.g. PCSOs

Police Act 1996, s.92

Duty on Parish Councils to consider crime reduction in every policy and action

s17 Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (as amended)

Drainage

Power to deal with ponds and ditches

Public Health Act 1936, s.260

Dogs

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, s.145

Flyposting and Graffiti

General Power of Competence

Power to take enforcement action against those that flypost or graffiti

Power to do anything that an individual may do (eligible Councils only)

Cleaner Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005

Localism Act 2011, s.1

Gifts

Power to accept

Local Government Act 1972, s.139

Highways

Power to maintain footpaths and bridle-ways

Power to light roads and public places

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 wastes

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

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

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

Power to accept gifts of land

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

Local Government Act 1972, s.139

Litter

Provision of receptacles

Power to take enforcement action against those that litter

Litter Act 1983, ss.5,6

Cleaner Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005

Lotteries

Powers to promote

Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976, s.7

Mortuaries and post mortem rooms

Neighbourhood Planning

Powers to provide mortuaries and post mortem rooms

Power to create a Neighbourhood Plan and other development mechanisms

Public Health Act 1936, s.198

Localism Act, s.116

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, s.226

Public buildings and village hall

Power to provide buildings for public meetings and assemblies

Local Government Act 1972, s.133

Public conveniences

Power to provide

Public Health Act 1936, s.87

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 2007

Town and country planning

Right to be notified of planning applications

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

Tourism

Power to encourage visitors and provide conference and other facilities

Local Government Act 1972, s.144

Traffic calming

Powers to contribute financially to traffic calming schemes

Highways Act 1980, s.274A

Transport

Powers in relation to car-sharing schemes, taxi fare concessions and information about transport

Powers to make grants for bus services

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 (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 from them

Public Health Act 1936, s.125

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