Parishes are the smallest areas of civil administration in England and provide the tier of local government closest to the people.
Town and Parish Councils are an essential part of the structure of local democracy and have a vital role in acting on behalf of the communities they represent.
Parish Councils have a wide range of powers and duties.
A duty is an activity that must be carried out (Mandatory) e.g. local councils must appoint a chairman and a clerk.
Statutory powers, granted by Parliament give local councils the choice or opportunity to take action and are therefore discretionary.
The powers which have been vested in Parish, Town and Community Councils by Acts of Parliament are summarised below. Each description is intended to be a general indication and it is not a complete list of every single power and duty.
Like all powers given to public bodies the powers of local councils are defined in detail in legislation and these details may include a requirement to obtain the consent of another body i.e. the Borough Council. Local Councils must also exercise their powers subject to the provisions of the general law.
The document below describes the powers and duties held by local councils for a number of functions. It also provides details of the regulations under which statutory provisions are made. Information on all these details are available from the parish council Clerk.
The Powers and Duties of Parish Councils