Burstow Parish Council

01342 841880

Powers & Duties of a Council

The powers which have been vested in Parish, Town and Community Councils by Acts of Parliament are summarised here as a guide to Councillors and others.

Each description is brief and is intended to be a general indication. Like all powers given to public bodies the powers of local councils are defined in detail in legislation and these details may include a requirement to obtain the consent of another body.

The following table describes the powers and duties held by local councils for a number of functions along with details of the regulations under which statutory provisions are made. Information on all these details are available from the parish council Clerk. Where a function is marked with an asterisk (*) a council also has the power to give financial assistance to another person or body performing the same function.

Function Powers and Duties Statutory Powers
Allotments Powers to provide allotments. Duty to provide allotment gardens if demand unsatisfied Small Holdings Allotments Act 1908 ss 23, 26 and 42
Archives Power to make records held available to the public and to support local archives Local Government Records Act 1962 ss1 & 4
Baths & Washhouses Power to provide public baths and washhouses Public Health Act 1936 ss221, 222, 223 & 227
Burial Grounds, Cemeteries and Crematoria * Power to acquire and maintain
Power to provide
Open Spaces Act 1906 ss9 & 10
Local Government Act 1972 s214
'' Power to agree to maintain monuments and memorials Parish Councils and Burial Authorities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1970 s1
'' Power to contribute towards expenses of cemeteries Local Government Act 1972 s214 (6)
Bus Shelters Power to provide and maintain shelters Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1953 s4
Bye Laws Powers to make Bye Laws in regards to pleasure grounds Public Health Act 1875 s164
  Cycle Parks Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 s57
  Open Spaces and Burial Grounds Open Spaces Act 1906 ss12 & 15
Car Sharing Schemes Power to establish, maintain and assist others Local Government and Rating Act 1997 s26
Charities Duty to receive accounts of parochial charities Charities Act 1960 s32
Clocks * Power to provide public clocks Parish Councils Act 1957 s2
Closed Churchyards Powers as to maintenance Local Government Act 1972 s215
Commons and Common Pastures Powers in relation to enclosure, as to regulation and management, and as to providing common pasture Enclosure Act 1845;
Local Government Act 1894 s8(4);
Smallholdings & Allotments Act 1908 s34;
Commons Act 1899
Conference Facilities * Power to provide and encourage the use of facilities Local Government Act 1972 s144
Community Centres and Village Halls Power to provide and equip buildings for use of clubs having athletic, social or educational objectives Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s19
Crime Prevention * Powers to spend money on various crime prevention measures Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s31
Delegated Functions Power to assume a function delegated by another authority
Power to ensure effective discharge of Council functions
Power to employ persons to carry out Council functions
Local Government Act 1972 ss101, 111 & 112
Drainage Power to deal with ponds/ditches, agreements with landowners and with English Nature to manage Council-owned reserve land as a nature reserve Public Health Act 1936 s260
General Power of Competence Power for an eligible council to do anything subject to statutory prohibitions, restrictions and limitations which include those in place before or after the introduction of the general power of competence Localism Act 2011, ss1-8
Legal Proceedings Power to prosecute or defend Local Government Act 1972 s222
Listed Buildings Power to contribute to the preservation of historic buildings Essex Act 1987 s48
Litter * and dog fouling Provision of receptacles.
Obliged to keep own land free of litter and dog faeces
Litter Act 1983, ss 5 an Environmental Protection Act 1990;
Litter (Animal Droppings) Order 1991
Lotteries Power to promote Lotteries & Amusements Act 1976 s7
Mortuaries and Post-Mortem Rooms Powers to provide mortuaries and post-mortem rooms Public Health Act 1936 c198
Nuisances Power to deal with offensive ditches Public Health Act 1936 s260
Open Spaces Power to acquire land and maintain Public Health Act 1975 s164;
Open Spaces Act 1906 ss9 & 10;
Commons Act 1899
Parish Property and Records Powers to direct as to their custody Local Government Act 1972 s226
Planning Right to be notified of and power to respond to planning applications Town & Country Planning Act 1990 s1 ss8;
Local Government Act 1972 s15 ss20
Postal and telecommunications facilities Power to pay the Post Office, British Telecommunications or any other public telecommunications operator any loss sustained in providing post or telegraph office or telecommunications facilities Post Office Cat 1953 s51;
Telecommunications Act 1984 s97
Public Buildings and Village Halls Power to provide Public Health Act 1936 s87
Public Conveniences Power to provide as above
Public Enquiries Power to make representations at public enquiries Local Government Act 1982 s222
Publicise Functions Powers to publicise council and local authority functions Local Government Act 1982 s142
Raising of Finances Power to raise money through the precept Local Government Act 1982 s150
Recreation * Power to acquire land for or to provide recreation grounds, public walks, pleasure grounds and open spaces and to manage and control them
Power to provide gymnasiums, playing fields and holiday camps
Public Health Act 1875 s164; Local Government Act 1972 s14 ss27;
Public Health Acts Amendments Acts 1890 s44;
Open Spaces Act 1906 ss9 & 10;
Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s19;
Commons Act 1899
"" Provision of boating pools Public Health Act 1961 s54
Taxi Fare Concessions Power to reimburse operator Local Government and Rating Act 1997 s28
Tourism * Power to contribute to organisations encouraging Local Government Act 1972 s144
Transport and Traffic Power to conduct surveys to establish the transport needs of the community, the use of and need for roads and the management and control of traffic Local Government and Rating Act 1997 s29
"" Power to collect and disseminate passenger transport information and make grants for bus services Local Government and Rating Act 1997 s29 (2) 27
"" Powers to contribute financially to traffic calming schemes Local Government and Rating Act 1997 s26
Training Powers to train Councillors Local Government Act 1972 s175
Transport * Powers to spend money on community transport schemes Local Government and Rating Act 1997 ss26-29
War Memorials Power to maintain, repair and adapt war memorials War Memorials (Local Authorities Powers) Act 1923 s1 as extended by Local Government Act 1948 s123
Water Supply Powers to utilise well, spring or stream and to provide facilities for obtaining water there from Public Health Act 1936 s125