Which Council is Responsible?

Local government structure varies from county to county. In most of Devon there are three tiers of local government with a county council, district councils, and parish and town councils. Some parts of the country have unitary authorities which provide all local government services, these can be city areas (such as Plymouth) or counties.

There are some things that parish, town, district and county councils can all do such as providing street lights, car parks and financial support for a range of organisations. Just because all councils can do these things, it does not mean that the council has to do it.
Parish councils have a wide range of powers* that can help them work in their communities. Many of these powers can benefit from partnership working with another organisation. For example, Uplyme parish council work with Devon County Council through their Road Warden Scheme or Snow Warden Scheme to help repair potholes or clear snow in an emergency.

A list of who does what can be found below:

Parish Councils*  District Council County Council
Grant giving to a range of organisations including youth clubs, village halls and voluntary organisations. Street cleaning and litter Education (early years, schools, families and young people)
Consultee on planning applications Recycling Public Rights of Way (maintenance
Can provide public conveniences, car parks, lifesaving devices, allotments, burial grounds, bus shelters, war memorials, clocks Elections (electoral registration) Land Charges Unit (common land)
Can provide recreational and educational facilities Standards (Monitoring Officer can investigate Code of Conduct complaints against parish and town councillors) Traffic calming and management
Can own and equip buildings for community or recreational facilities Rubbish collection Roads/bridges
Can provide lunches for pensioners Public conveniences Adult social care
Can give honorary titles Council Tax collection Roads and transport (pothole reporting, parking, road closures, road maintenance, roadworks and street lights)
Can provide open spaces Social housing Children’s social care (child protection, children in care, fostering, adoption).
Provides information in newsletters or websites Planning authority for residential and business development (although in Devon, the Dartmoor National Park Authority and Exmoor National Park Authority are also planning authorities) Country parks
Supports the arts Licensing Libraries
Neighbourhood planning Leisure services such as swimming pools, gyms and parks. Recycling and waste disposal (responsible for safe disposal of municipal household waste generated in the districts)
Can support or provide community transport Environmental health Registration Service (births, deaths and marriages)
Street cleaning and litter Emergency planning in the district Health Protection (protecting the health of people in Devon and responding to any healthrelated emergencies)
Emergency planning in the community Trading Standards (advice and support)
Planning (minerals and waste)
Emergency planning in the county

Powers of a Parish Council

As a local council, Uplyme have both ‘powers’ and ‘duties’. A ‘power’ is something we can do whereas a ‘duty’ is something we must do. Local Councils actually have very few duties and most of these are procedural i.e. the appointment of a proper officer and responsible financial officer, the election of the chairman etc.

The list below states the powers and duties of local councils. As a local Council, Uplyme must ensure it has the ‘power’ under legislation to act before it can do something.

Function Powers & Duties Statutory Provisions
Allotments Powers to provide allotments. Small Holding & Allotment Act 1908 s.23
Duty to provide allotment gardens if demand unsatisfied and if reasonable to do so
Borrowing Money Power for councils to borrow money for their statutory functions or for the prudent management of their financial affairs Local Government Act 2003, Sch 1, para 2
Baths (Public) Power to provide public swimming baths Public Health Act 1936, s.221
Burial grounds, cemeteries and crematoria Power to acquire and maintain Open Spaces Act 1906, s9 and s10
Power to provide Local Government Act 1972, s.214
Power to contribute towards expenses of cemeteries Local Government Act 1972, s.214(6)
Bus Shelters Power to provide and maintain shelters Local Government (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1953, s.4
Byelaws Power to make byelaws for: Places of public recreation Public Health Act 1875, s.164
Cycle parks Road Traffic Regulation Act
Public swimming baths Public Health Act 1936, s.223
Open spaces and burial grounds Open Spaces Act 1906, s.15
Mortuaries and post-mortem rooms Public Health Act 1936, s.198
Charities Duties in respect of parochial charities Charities Act 2011, s.298-203
Power to act as charity trustees Local Government Act 1972, s139(1)
Clocks Power to provide public clocks Parish Councils Act 1957, s.2
Closed churchyards Powers to maintain Local Government Act 1972, s.215
Commons and common pastures Powers in relation to inclosure, regulation, management and provision of common pasture Inclosure Act 1845
Small Holding & Allotments Act 1908, s.34
Conference Facilities Power to provide and encourage 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 educational objectives Local Government Act 1972 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s.19
Power to acquire, provide and furnish community buildings for public meetings and assemblies Local Government Act 1972, s.133
Crime Prevention Power to spend money on crime detection and prevention measures Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.31
Ditches and ponds Power to drain and maintain ponds and ditches to prevent harm to public health Public Health Act 1936, s.260
Entertainment and the arts Provision of entertainment and support the arts Local Government Act 1972, S.145
Environment Power to issue fixed penalty notices for litter, graffiti and offences under dog control orders Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, s.19, s.30, part 6
General Power of Competence Power for an eligible council to do anything subject to statutory prohibitions, restrictions and limitations which include those in place before or after the introduction of the General Power of Competence Localism Act 2011, s1 – 8
Gifts Power to accept Local Government Act 1972, s.139
Highways Power to repair and maintain public footpaths and bridle-ways Highways Act 1980, s.43, s.50
Power to light roads and public places Parish Councils Act 1957, s3; Highways Act 1980, s.301
Power to provide parking places for vehicles, bicycles and motorcycles Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.57, s.63
Power to enter into agreements as to dedication and widening Highways Act 1980, s.30, s.72
Power to provide roadside seats and shelters Parish Councils Act 1957, s.1
Power to consent to a local highway authority stopping maintenance of a highway or stopping up/diverting a highway Highways Act 1980, s.47, s.116
Power to complain to district council about the protection of rights of way and roadside waste Highways Act 1980, s.130
Power to provide certain traffic signs and other notices Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.72
Power to plant trees and shrubs and to maintain roadside verges Highways Act 1980, s.96
Honorary Titles Power to admit to be honorary freemen/freewomen of the council’s area persons of distinction and persons who have, in the opinion of the authority, rendered eminent services to that place or area. Local Government Act 1972, s.249
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 Local Government Act 1972, s.124, s.126, s.127
Litter Provision of bins Litter Act 1983, s.5, s.6
Lotteries Powers to promote Gambling Act 2005, s.252, s.258
Markets Power to establish or acquire by agreement markets within the council’s area and provide a marketplace and market building Food Act 1984, s.50
Mortuaries and post-mortem rooms Power to provide mortuaries and post-mortem rooms Public Health Act 1936, s.198
Neighbourhood Planning Powers to act as lead body for a neighbourhood development plan or a neighbourhood development order Localism Act 2011, s.9; Town and Country Planning Act 1990 s61 e- q; Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, s.38A
Newsletter Power to provide information relating to matters affecting local government Local Government Act 1971, s.142
Nuisances Power to deal with offensive ditches Public Health Act 1936, s.260
Open Spaces Power to acquire and maintain land for public recreation Public Health Act 1875, s.164
Power to acquire and maintain land for open spaces Open Spaces Act 1906, s.9, s.10
Parish property and documents Power to receive and retain Local Government Act 1972, s.226
Duty to deposit certain published works in specific deposit libraries Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003, s.1
Public buildings and village hall Powers to acquire and provide buildings for public meetings and assemblies Local Government Act 1972, s.133
Public conveniences Power to provide Public Health Act 1936, s.87
Recreation Power to provide a wide range of recreational facilities Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, s.19
Provision of boating pools Public Health Act 1961, s.54
Right to challenge services The right to submit an interest in running a service provided by a district, county or unitary authority Localism Act 2011, s81 – s.86
Right to nominate and bid for assets of community value The to nominate assets to be added to a list of assets of community value and the right to bid to buy a listed asset when it comes up for sale Localism Act 2011, s.87 – s.108
Town and Country Planning Right to be notified of planning applications if right has requested Town and Country Planning Act 1990 sch.1, para 8
Tourism Power to encourage tourism to the council’s area Local Government Act 1972, s.144
Traffic Calming Power to contribute financially to traffic calming schemes Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.30
Transport Powers to spend money on community transport schemes Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.26-29
War Memorials Power to maintain, repairs, protect and adapt war memorials War Memorials (Local Authorities’ Power) Act 1923, s.1
Water Power to utilise wells, springs or streams for obtaining water Public Health Act 1936, s.125
Websites Powers for councils to have their own websites Local Government Act 1972, s.142