Summary of Powers for Parish Councils



Further Detail


Power to provide allotment gardens and duty to do so if demanded by local electors

Appointment of Officers

Power to appoint officers to discharge any function of the parish council as directed by it, nearly always a parish clerk and sometimes a neighbourhood manager, linesmen, village sweeper and other workers

Bathing Places and Wash Houses

Power to provide swimming baths, public bathing places and wash houses (including laundrettes)

Burial Grounds, Cemeteries and Crematoria

Power to provide such grounds or facilities

Bus Stops and Shelters

Power to provide bus stops and shelters

Bye Laws

Power to enact bye laws regarding pleasure grounds, cycle parks, baths and wash houses, open spaces and mortuaries.


Power to act as trustee of any parochial charities serving the parish and duty to receive the accounts of such charities


Power to provide public clocks

Closed churchyards

Power to maintain closed churchyards


Power to regulate and maintain commons

Community Facilities

Power to provide such facilities for the use of local individuals, community groups and societies

Conference Facilities

Power to provide such facilities

Crime Prevention

Power to take steps to prevent crime, such as installing CCTV, requiring and paying for additional policing of the parish, installing burglar alarms and strong locks, and assisting neighbourhood watch schemes

Delivery of Local Authority Services

Right to act as an agent for the local district or borough, county or unitary authority and deliver nearly any services or amenities that would otherwise be provided for the parish by that local authority


Power to deal with ponds and ditches


Power to appoint representation to the governing body of any primary school serving the parish

Entertainment and the Arts

Power to provide entertainments and support the arts

Free Resource

Power to spend a limited amount of money as set by the Secretary of State on anything the parish council deems to be of benefit for the parish or its inhabitants


Power to accept gifts on behalf of the parish


Power to maintain public footpaths, light roads and public places, provide litter bins, provide parking for vehicles, to acquire rights of way, provide traffic signs and other notices, and to give or withhold consent as to the stopping up or diversion of any public highway


Power to participate in schemes of collective investment


Power to compulsory purchase land in certain circumstances and to establish new rights of way


Power to provide litter bins and similar facilities


Power to provide a lottery within the parish

National Parks

Right to have representation appointed onto the authority of any National Park the parish falls under

Open Spaces

Power to acquire land

Parish Property and Documents

Duty to manage and hold any property and public documents on behalf of the parish

Planning Applications

Right to be notified and consulted regarding any planning applications affecting the parish

PublicBuilding and Village Halls

Power to provide such buildings for public use

Public Conveniences

Power to provide such facilities


Power to acquire land for recreation purposes and to provide sports and leisure facilities

School Governors

Power to appoint a Primary School Governor

Telecommunication Facilities

Power to require and pay a telephone company to provide additional public telephones


Power to take steps to encourage local tourism

Town Declaration

Power to declare the parish to be a town, in which case the parish council becomes known as a town council, the chair and vice chair become the town mayor and deputy town mayor, and the parish clerk becomes the town clerk


Power to provide car sharing schemes, community mini buses and other transport for the benefit of the parish

Village Greens

Power to provide and duty to protect

War Memorials

Power to maintain war memorials

Water Supply

Power to utilise any clean source to provide facilities for obtaining water, such as an parish pump

Courtesy of the National Association of Local Councils