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Galleywood Parish Council   01245 358898
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Powers and Duties - The Legal Framework

Parish Councils are a single corporate body, perpetually existing and have the power to precept (tax) their residents to support their operations and to carry out local projects. Although there is no limit to the amount that can be precepted, 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 new power awarded in 2012 to eligible councils, and is described below. The exercise of powers is at the discretion of the council, but they are legally obliged to exercise duties.
 
Duty to provide officers and carry out meetings
 
Elect a chairman (This is carried out annually or immediately following an election)
Appoint a Clerk
Appoint a Responsible Financial Officer (RFO)
Independent Internal Auditor
Hold an Annual Council meeting
Meet at least three other times
Call an Annual Parish Meeting
Duty to provide facilities
 
Allotments - Duty to consider providing allotment gardens if demand is unsatisfied.
Duty to assess the impact of Decisions
 
Assess the impact of Decisions taken by the Parish Council on Crime Reduction and Disorder (LGA 1972 section 137)
Powers to provide facilities
 
Parish 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 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 Councils possess 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
​What powers and duties do Parish Councils have?
 
Parish Councils have a variety of powers and duties, all of which impact directly on the community.
 
The following are all under the remit of Local Councils:
 
Allotments
Burial Grounds, Cemeteries, Churchyards and Crematoria
Bus Shelters
Bye-laws – the power to make bye-laws concerning: baths and washhouses (swimming pools), cycle parks, mortuaries and pleasure grounds
Clocks – public clocks can be provided and must be maintained
Community Centres, Conference Centres, Halls, Public Buildings
Drainage – of ditches and ponds
Entertainment and the Arts
Footpaths
General Spending – Parish Councils can spend a limited amount of money on anything they deem of benefit to the community that is not covered by the other specific responsibilities described in this list
Gifts – Parish Councils may accept gifts
Highways – lighting, parking places, right to enter into discussions about new roads and road widening, consent of Parish Council required for diversion or discontinuation of highway, traffic signs and other notices, tree planting and verge maintenance
Land – acquisition and sale of
Legal proceedings – power to prosecute and defend any legal proceedings in the interests of the community, power to take part in any public enquiry
Litter - provision of litter-bins and support for any anti-litter campaigns
Planning – Parish Councils must be notified of, and display for residents, any planning applications for the area. Any comments submitted to the Planning Authority by the Parish Council must be taken into account
Postal and Telecommunication Facilities – power to pay a public telecommunications operator any loss sustained in providing services in that area
Public Conveniences – provision and maintenance of public toilets
Recreation – provision of recreation grounds, public walkways, pleasure grounds, open spaces, village greens, gymnasiums, playing fields, holiday camps and boating ponds
Rights of Way – footpath and bridleway maintenance
Seats (public)
Signs – danger signs, place names and bus stops signs
Tourism – financial contributions to any local tourist organisations allowed
Traffic Calming
War Memorials
Water Supply – power to utilise stream, well or spring water and to provide facilities for general us

Parish Councils are a single corporate body, perpetually existing and have the power to precept (tax) their residents to support their operations and to carry out local projects. Although there is no limit to the amount that can be precepted, 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 new power awarded in 2012 to eligible councils, and is described below. The exercise of powers is at the discretion of the council, but they are legally obliged to exercise duties.

Duty to provide officers and carry out meetings

Elect a chairman (This is carried out annually or immediately following an election)

Appoint a Clerk

Appoint a Responsible Financial Officer (RFO)

Independent Internal Auditor

Hold an Annual Council meeting

Meet at least three other times

Call an Annual Parish Meeting

Duty to provide facilities

Allotments - Duty to consider providing allotment gardens if demand is unsatisfied.

Duty to assess the impact of Decisions

Assess the impact of Decisions taken by the Parish Council on Crime Reduction and Disorder (LGA 1972 section 137)

Powers to provide facilities

Parish 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 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 Councils possess 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

What powers and duties do Parish Councils have?

Parish Councils have a variety of powers and duties, all of which impact directly on the community.

The following are all under the remit of Local Councils:

Allotments

Burial Grounds, Cemeteries, Churchyards and Crematoria

Bus Shelters

Bye-laws – the power to make bye-laws concerning: baths and washhouses (swimming pools), cycle parks, mortuaries and pleasure grounds

Clocks – public clocks can be provided and must be maintained

Community Centres, Conference Centres, Halls, Public Buildings

Drainage – of ditches and ponds

Entertainment and the Arts

Footpaths

General Spending – Parish Councils can spend a limited amount of money on anything they deem of benefit to the community that is not covered by the other specific responsibilities described in this list

Gifts – Parish Councils may accept gifts

Highways – lighting, parking places, right to enter into discussions about new roads and road widening, consent of Parish Council required for diversion or discontinuation of highway, traffic signs and other notices, tree planting and verge maintenance

Land – acquisition and sale of

Legal proceedings – power to prosecute and defend any legal proceedings in the interests of the community, power to take part in any public enquiry

Litter - provision of litter-bins and support for any anti-litter campaigns

Planning – Parish Councils must be notified of, and display for residents, any planning applications for the area. Any comments submitted to the Planning Authority by the Parish Council must be taken into account

Postal and Telecommunication Facilities – power to pay a public telecommunications operator any loss sustained in providing services in that area

Public Conveniences – provision and maintenance of public toilets

Recreation – provision of recreation grounds, public walkways, pleasure grounds, open spaces, village greens, gymnasiums, playing fields, holiday camps and boating ponds

Rights of Way – footpath and bridleway maintenance

Seats (public)

Signs – danger signs, place names and bus stops signs

Tourism – financial contributions to any local tourist organisations allowed

Traffic Calming

War Memorials

Water Supply – power to utilise stream, well or spring water and to provide facilities for general use