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Parish and town councils

What is the role of parish and town councils?

In England alone there are over 9,000 parish councils and town councils. They are the tier of Local Government which are closest to the people.

Parish and town councils are executive bodies which have statutory powers and duties. Each is expected to, and often asked to, voice the views of the community that they represent on planning applications, local plans and other issues. They also nominate members to represent the view of the parish on outside bodies and, in turn, report back on the business of the body concerned.

They are frequently expected to lead on projects that will benefit the local community because it is often the only body with access to information and with the resources to take an initiative.
 
Parish and town council councillors are also required to sign up to the Code of Conduct and, in doing so, pledge to observe the requirements contained within it.

How do I contact or find out who my parish or town councillor is?

Please use our parish finder to find out the contact details for your parish or town clerk. The clerk will then be able to put you in touch with the relevant councillor.

Find my parish council

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Where can I obtain further information about the powers of a town or parish council, the role of the Clerk and governance arrangements etc?

Each parish and town council have a limited amount of duties, as they are local authorities. With agreement of the Local Authority (either unitary authority, county council or district council), if they decide to use them, the parish or town council can have wide powers. The table below shows the general powers and duties of parish and town councils.

Powers and duties of parish councils

 

Function

Powers & Duties

Statutory Provisions

Access land

Power to enforce byelaws made by another authority 

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, s. 17

Allotments  

Duty to provide allotments. Power to improve and adapt land for allotments, and to let grazing rights  

 Small Holdings & Allotments Act 1908, ss. 23, 26, and 42

Baths and washhouses

 Powers relating to provision of public baths, washhouses and bathing huts

Public Health Act 1936, ss.  221 - 223 and 225 - 227

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

Open Spaces Act 1906, Ss 9 and 10; Local Government Act 1972, s. 214; Parish Councils and Burial Authorities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1970, s. 1

Local Government Act 1972, s. 214(6)

Bus shelters

Power to provide and maintain shelters

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1953, s. 4

Bye-laws

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

Public Conveniences

Public Health Act 1875, s. 164

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.57(7)

Public Health Act 1936, s.223

Open Spaces Act 1906, ss.15 and 12

Public Health Act 1936, s.198

Public Health Act 1936, s. 87

Clocks

Power to provide public clocks

Parish Councils Act 1957, s.2

Closed churchyards

Powers as to maintenance

Local Government Act 1972, s.215

Commons

Power for parish council to contribute to expense relating to scheme for the regulation and management of a common

Commons Act 1899, s.5

Common pastures

Powers in relation to providing common pasture

Smallholdings and Allotments Act 1908, s.34

Conference facilities

Power to provide and encourage the use of facilities

Local Government Act 1972, s.144

Community centres

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

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s.19

Crime prevention

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

Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.31

Drainage

Power to deal with ponds and ditches

Public Health Act 1936, s.260

Entertainment and the arts

Provision of entertainment and support of the arts

Local Government Act 1972, s.145

Financial assistance

Duty to require information

Local Government Act 1972, s.137A

General powers

Power to incur expenditure for certain purposes

Local Government Act 1972, s. 137

Gifts

Power to accept

Local Government Act 1972, s.139

Highways

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

Highways Act 1980, ss.43,50

Parish Councils Act 1957, s.3;  Highways Act 1980, s.301

Litter Act 1983, ss.5,6

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, ss.57,63

Highways Act 1980, ss.30,72

Parish Councils Act 1957, s.1

Highways Act 1980, ss.47,116

Highways Act 1980, s.130

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.72

Highways Act 1980, s.96

Investments

Power to participate in schemes of collective investment

Trustee Investments Act 1961, s.11

Land  

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

Power to accept gifts of land

Local Government Act 1972, ss.124, 126, 127

Local Government Act 1972, s.139

Litter  

Provision of receptacles

Litter Act 1983, ss.5,6

Lotteries

Powers to promote  

Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976, s.7

Mortuaries and post mortem rooms

Powers to provide mortuaries and post mortem rooms

Public Health Act 1936, s.198

Open spaces

Power to acquire land and maintain

Public Health Act 1875, s.164 Open Spaces Act 1906, ss.9 and 10

Parish documents

Powers to direct as to their custody

Local Government Act 1972, s.226

Public buildings and village hall

Power to provide buildings for public meetings and assemblies

Local Government Act 1972, s.133

Public conveniences

 Powers relating to provision of public conveniences

Public Health Act 1936, s.87

Recreation

Power to acquire land for or to provide public walks, pleasure grounds and open spaces and to manage and control them

Power to provide gymnasiums, playing fields, holiday camps

Provision of boating pools

(see Local Government Act 1972, Sched.14 para.27)

Public Health Act 1875, s.164 Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1890 s.44 Open Spaces Act 1906, ss.9 and 10 Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, s.19

Public Health Act 1961, s.54

Town and country planning

Right to be notified of planning applications

Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Sched.1, para.8

Tourism

Power to encourage visitors and provide conference and other facilities

Local Government Act 1972, s.144

Traffic calming

Powers to contribute financially to traffic calming schemes

Highways Act 1980, s.274A

Transport

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

Powers to make grants for bus services

Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.26, 28 and 29

Transport Act 1985, s.106A

War memorials

Power to maintain, repair, protect and alter war memorials

War Memorials (Local Authorities' Powers) Act 1923, s.1; as extended by Local Government Act 1948, s.133

Water supply

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

Public Health Act 1936, s.125

 

This list is intended as a summary of the principle functions of Local Council. It is not intended to be a definitive list of such functions.

More information about parish and town councils and the role of the clerk can be found on the National Association of Local Councils (external website).

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How many parish and town councils are there in the East Riding?

In the East Riding of Yorkshire there are 168 parish and town councils, each of which is made up, on average, of 11 councillors.

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How can I contact or find out who my parish or town councillor is?

Please use our Parish Finder to find out the contact details for your parish or town clerk. The clerk will then be able to put you in touch with the relevant councillor.

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Where can I view my parish or town council's registers of interest?

To view a specific parish or town council's register of interests click on the relevant parish or town council register of interest below.

Parish and town councils' registers of interest

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How do I request an ID badge for a parish or town councillor?

For information on the procedures and relevant information required when requesting the purchase of an ID badge please view the document below.

ID Badge Protocols (pdf 158kb opens in new window)

To purchase a parish or town councillor ID badge the Clerk must complete an ID badge request form (opens in new window) for each councillor.

Alternatively you can contact the Council's Document and Data Processing Team by email document.processing@eastriding.gov.uk or telephone (01482) 393520.

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