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Parish Council

What is a Parish/Town Council?

Please see below general information regarding what Parish/Town Councils are and can be responsible for.    

Parish/Town Councils have the power to tax their residents to support their operations and to carry out local projects. Although there is no limit to the amount that can be raised, the money can only be raised for a limited number of purposes, defined in the 1894 Act and subsequent legislation. The "General Power of Competence" is a power awarded in 2012 to eligible Councils. The exercise of powers is at the discretion of the Council, but they are legally obliged to exercise duties.

Duty to provide facilities.
Allotments - Duty to consider providing allotment gardens if demand unsatisfied.
Powers to provide facilities.
Parish/Town Councils have powers to provide some facilities themselves, or they can contribute towards their provision by others. There are large variations in the services provided by parishes, but they can include the following:

Support and encouragement of arts and crafts
Provision of village halls
Provision and maintenance of recreation grounds, parks, children's play areas, playing fields and swimming baths
Provision and maintenance of cemeteries and crematoria
Maintenance of closed churchyards
Cleaning and drainage of ponds, watercourses and ditches
Control of litter
Provision and maintenance of public toilets
Creation and maintenance of footpaths and bridleways
Provision of cycle and motorcycle parking
Acquisition and maintenance of rights of way
Provision and maintenance of public clocks
Maintenance of war memorials
Encouragement of tourism
They may also provide the following, subject to the consent of the county council or unitary authority of the area in which they lie:

Bus shelters
Signposting of footpaths
Lighting of footpaths
Off-street car parks
Provision, maintenance and protection of roadside verges
Representative powers.
Parish/Town Councils must be notified by the district or county council of:

All planning applications in their areas
Intention to provide a burial ground in the parish
Proposals to carry out sewerage works
Footpath and bridleway (more generally, 'rights of way') surveys
Intention to make byelaws in relation to hackney carriages, music and dancing, promenades, sea shore and street naming
Miscellaneous powers.
In some cases Parish/Town Councils exercise the following powers:

Creation of a neighbourhood plan
Guardianship of common land
Withholding of consent to stop up unclassified highways and footpaths
Consultation on appointment of governors of primary schools
Appointing trustees of local charities