What we must do
The law gives local parish councils a choice in the activities they undertake, but there are surprisingly few duties, or activities that we must carry out in delivering services to local people. We must:
|Legal Requirement||How We Comply|
|Comply with our obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010||We publish details of our FOI process here. We contract out our Data Protection Officer role as explained here. We have not yet developed an Equality and Diversity policy.|
|Comply with employment law||We undertake all necessary actions in the employment of our staff. We currently only employ one member of staff part time.|
|Consider the impact of our decisions on reducing crime and disorder in our area||We are fortunate to have a relatively low crime rate in the parish. Very few Council actions have an impact on this issue but security and abuse opportunity are factors taken into account where appropriate when making decisions.|
|Have regard to the protection of biodiversity in carrying out our functions. Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act (NERC) 2006.||Our draft biodiversity policy can be seen here.|
|Consider the provision of allotments if there is demand for them from local residents and it is reasonable to do so||We currently lease land to provide allotments as detailed here. We will investigate further provision opportunities if demand requires.|
|Decide whether to adopt a churchyard when it is closed, if asked to do so by the Parochial Church Council||The scenario has never arisen.|
We also have a duty to ensure that all the rules for the administration of the council are followed. We must:
|Administration Rule||How We Comply|
|Appoint a chairman of the council||We do this at the start of the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council|
|Appoint officers as appropriate for carrying out its functions||We do this at the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council|
|Appoint a responsible financial officer (RFO) to manage the council’s financial affairs; the RFO is often the clerk||The Clerk is the Council's Responsible Financial Officer|
|Appoint an independent and competent internal auditor||We do this prior to completing the Annual Return each year|
|Adopt a Code of Conduct||The Code is available here|
|Hold a minimum number of four meetings per year, one of which must be the Annual Meeting of the Council||The Council's meeting schedule is available here|
These rules are set out in law to guide the procedures of the council and we can add our own regulations. Together these rules make up the Standing Orders as formally agreed by the council.
What we could do
The Parish Council has powers to provide some services and facilities itself, or it can contribute towards their provision by others. The following is a list of common powers and duties that could be applied to the Parish Council.
|Function||Powers & Duties||Statutory Provisions|
|Allotments||Powers to provide allotments.||Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 ss 23, 26 & 42
Allotments Act 1950 s9
|Arts||Develop and improve knowledge of the arts and the crafts which serve the arts.||Local Government Act 1972 s145|
|Bus Shelters||Power to provide and maintain |
|Local Government Misc. Provisions Act 1953 s 4|
|Bus Services||Power to make grants of money (though not of a capital nature) for bus service appearing to be |
for the benefit of people living in the council’s area or community bus service
|Local Government Rating Act 1997|
|Cemeteries||Provision and maintenance of burial grounds, cemeteries or crematoria.||Local Government Act 1972 s214|
|Chairman’s Allowance||Power to pay the chairman a reasonable allowance||Local Government Act 1972 s 15(5) and 35 (5)|
|Change of use of land||Power to use land by a parish council for another purpose other than what it was acquired for.||Local Government Act 1972 s 126|
|Churchyards||Power to contribute to the costs of a churchyard in use and a duty to maintain any closed churchyard where the duty has been transferred by the Church.||Local Government Act 1972 s215|
|Clocks||Provision and maintenance of public clocks, on churches or elsewhere.||Parish Councils Act 1957 s2|
|Commons & Common |
|Powers in relation to enclosure as to regulation and management and as to |
providing common pasture
|Enclosure Act 1845; Local Gov Act 1894 s 8 (4); Smallholdings & Allotments Act 1908 s 34|
|Crime Prevention||Power to install and maintain equipment with view to preventing and detecting crime in own area; may make grants of money to police authorities.||Local Govt Rating Act 1997|
|Drainage||Power to deal with ponds and |
|Public Health Act 1936 s 260|
|Entertainments||Provision of any form of public entertainment and any premises for giving entertainment.||Local Government Act 1972 s145|
|Gifts||Power to accept||Local Government Act 1972 s 139|
|Highways||Power to repair and maintain public footpaths and bridleways.|
Power to light roads and public places.
Provision of litter bins.
Power to provide parking places for vehicles, bicycles and motor cycles.
Power to enter into agreement as to dedication and widening.
Power to provide roadside seats and shelters and omnibus shelters.
Power to complain to district council as to protection of rights of way and roadside waste.
Consent of parish council required for ending maintenance of highway at public expense, or for stopping up or diversion of highway.
Power to provide traffic signs and other notices.
Power to plant trees etc and to maintain roadside verges.
Power to fund traffic calming measures.
|Highways Act 1980 ss 43 50
Parish Councils Act 1957 s3
Highways Act 1980 s 301
Litter Act 1983 ss 56
Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 ss 57, 63
Highways Act 1980 ss 30, 72
Parish Councils Act 1957 sl
Highways Act 1980 s 130
Highways Act 1980 ss 47, 116
|Investments||Power to participate in schemes of collective investment||Trustee Investments Act 1961 s 11|
|Investigation and publicity||Power to investigate the need for public passenger transport; the use and need for roads; the management and control of traffic.||Local Government Rating Act 1997|
|Land||Power to acquire land by |
agreement, to appropriate, to dispose of Power to accept gifts of land.
|Local Govt Act 1972 ss 124, 126, 127
Local Govt Act 1972 s 139
|Lighting||Provision and maintenance of any footway lighting which lights road or pavements.||Parish Councils Act 1957 s3
Local Government Act 1972 Sch 14 para 34
|Litter||Provision of receptacles||Litter Act 1983 ss 5,6|
|Newsletters||Provision of information relating to matters affecting local government.||Local Government Act 1972 s 142|
|Nuisances||Power to deal with offensive |
|Public Health Act 1936 s 260|
|Open Spaces||Power to acquire land and |
|Public Health Act 1987 s 164; Open Spaces Act 1906 ss 9&10|
|Parish Property and Documents||Power to direct as to their |
|Local Government Act 1972 s 226|
|Parking Spaces||Provision and maintenance of car and cycle parks||Road Traffic Act 1984 s57|
|Ponds||Power to deal with ponds, pools or other places containg filth or other matter prejudicial to public health.||Public Health Act 1936 s 260|
|Public Buildings and village halls||Power to provide buildings for offices and for public meetings and assemblies||Local Government Act 1972 s 133|
|Public inspection of documents||Public have the right to inspect |
|Local Government Act 1972 s 228|
|Roadside Verges||Power to plant and maintain.||Highways Act 1980 s116|
|Recreation||Power to acquire land for or to provide recreation grounds, public walks, pleasure grounds and open spaces and to manage and control them.||Public Health Act 1875 s 164; Local Govt Act 1972 Sched 14 para 27; Public Health Acts: Amendment Act 1890 s 44; Open Spaces Act 1906 s 9 & 10|
|Seats||Provision and maintenance of seats on the public highway.||Parish Councils Act 1957 s1|
|Signs||Power to erect signs which warn of dangers or announce a place name or indicate a bus stop.||Parish Councils Act 1970 s3|
|Staff||Power to appoint staff under reasonable terms and conditions||Local Government Act 1972 s 112|
|Subscriptions to County ALC, NALC and other associations||Power to subscribe to local |
|Local Government Act 1972 s143|
|Subsidiary Powers||The power to do anything which is coincidental to the discharge of the council’s functions||Local Government Act 1972 s 111|
|Town/County Planning||Right to be notified of planning applications||Town and County Planning Act 1990 Sched 1 para 8|
|Traffic calming works, speed |
cameras, CCTV cameras etc.
|Power to contribute to |
expenditure by highway
authority (principally County
Council) in constructing,
removing or maintaining traffic calming works, if it will be of benefit to the area.
|Local Govt Rating Act 1997 s26-30|
|Village Signs||Power to make and erect |
ornamental village signs under the power to encourage visitors to the locality.
|Local Gov Act 1972 s 144|
What we actually do
In addition to what we must do, the Parish Council currently carries out the following activities:
|Acts as a statutory consultee on applications for planning permission for certain types of development in its area.||Details|
|Manages and maintains its assets, including the village greens and children's play area||Details|
|Manages the amenity cutting of grass on the open spaces and verges in both villages||Details|
|Provides allotment sites to village residents||Details|
|Developing a Neighbourhood Plan||Details|
The Parish Council is responsible for managing its own budget. It is financed primarily through the precept, an amount of money calculated as an estimate for the coming financial year and collected as part of your Council Tax.
There is more detailed information about the finances of the Parish Council under the Our Finances menu option above.