Powers & Duties

Below is a list of powers and duties to help you appreciate the wide range of activities covered by Acts of Parliament. It is a useful reference when you need to know if the Parish/Town Council has permission to act. This list was adapted from information provided by the Society of Local Council Clerks; it is not totally comprehensive.

Allotments
Duty to provide allotments.  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
Power to provide and equip buildings for use of clubs having athletic, social or recreational objectives 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 Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.31

Drainage
Power to deal with ponds and ditches Public Health Act 1936, s.260

Entertainment and the arts
Provision of entertainment and support of the arts Local Government Act 1972,s.145

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 ower to accept gifts of land Local Government Act 1972, ss.124, 126, 127 Local Government Act 1972, s.139

Litter
Provision of receptacles Litter Act 1983, ss.5,6 Lotteries Powers to promote Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976, s.7

Mortuaries and post mortem rooms
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, s.226

Telecommunications facilities
Power to pay public telecommunications operators any loss sustained providing telecommunication facilities Telecommunications Act 1984, s.97

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

Recreation
Power to acquire land for or to provide public walks, pleasure grounds and open spaces and to manage and control them Power to provide gymnasiums, playing fields, holiday camps Provision of boating pools (see Local Government Act 1972, Sched.14 para.27) Public Health Act 1875, s.164 Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1890 s.44 Open Spaces Act 1906, ss.9 and 10 Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, s.19 Public Health Act 1961, s.54

Town and country planning
Right to be notified of planning applications Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Sched.1, para.

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

Model Publication Scheme
At a meeting on 16th December 2008, Northam Town Council adopted a Model Publication Scheme provided by the Information Commissioner’s Office. We are committed to provide information detailed in the headings below. You can view a more detailed PDF of the document here.

  • Class 1 – Who we are and what we do
  • Class 2 – What we spend and how we spend it
  • Class 3 – What our priorities are and how we are doing
  • Class 4 – How we make decisions
  • Class 5 – Our policies and procedures
  • Class 6 – Lists and Registers
  • Class 7 – The services we offer