Parish Council Powers

The following is an extract from the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) Governance Toolkit for Parish & Town Councils. This is not an exhaustive list, and not all functions apply to every Parish


  • Duty to provide allotments.

  • Power to improve and adapt land for allotments, and to let grazing rights

Baths and washhouses

  • Power to provide public baths and washhouses

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

Bus shelters

  • Power to provide and maintain shelters


  • 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


  • Power to provide public clocks

Closed churchyards

  • Powers as to maintenance

Common pastures

  • Powers in relation to providing common pasture

Conference facilities

  • Power to provide and encourage the use of facilities

Community centres

  • Power to provide and equip buildings for use of clubs having athletic, social or recreational objectives

Crime prevention

  • Powers to install and maintain equipment and establish and maintain a scheme for detection or prevention of crime

  • Power to contribute to police services e.g. PCSOs

  • Duty on Parish Councils to consider crime reduction in every policy and action


  • Power to deal with ponds and ditches


  • Power to make a Dog Control Order

  • Power to take enforcement action against those who commit an offence against a Dog Control Order

Entertainment and the arts

  • Provision of entertainment and support of the arts

Flyposting and Graffiti

  • Power to take enforcement action against those that flypost or graffiti


  • Power to accept


  • 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


  • Power to participate in schemes of collective investment


  • Power to acquire by agreement, to appropriate, to dispose of

  • Power to accept gifts of land


  • Provision of receptacles

  • Power to take enforcement action against those that litter


  • Powers to promote

Mortuaries and post mortem rooms

  • Powers to provide mortuaries and post mortem rooms

Open spaces

  • Power to acquire land and maintain

Parish documents

  • Powers to direct as to their custody

Telecommunications facilities

  • Power to pay public telecommunications operators any loss sustained providing telecommunication facilities

Public buildings and village hall

  • Power to provide buildings for public meetings and assemblies

Public conveniences

  • Power to provide

Sustainable communities

  • Able to be represented on a panel of representatives to be consulted on proposals that would contribute to sustainable communities

Town and country planning

  • Right to be notified of planning applications


  • Power to encourage visitors and provide conference and other facilities

Traffic calming

  • Powers to contribute financially to traffic calming schemes


  • Powers in relation to car-sharing schemes, taxi fare concessions and information about transport

  • Powers to make grants for bus services

War memorials

  • Power to maintain, repair, protect and alter war memorials

Water supply

  • Power to utilise well, spring or stream and to provide facilities for obtaining water from them


  • Power to well-being of the area (for eligible councils)