Yeohead & Castleton Parish Council

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THE ROLE OF PARISH AND TOWN COUNCILS

There are over 9,000 parish and town councils in England and they form the tier of local government closest to the people. The term "town council" is synonymous with "parish council" in that any parish council can style itself "town council" if it considers it appropriate so to do. Collectively, parish and town councils, and community councils in Wales, are often termed "local councils". The chairman of a town council may be styled "town mayor".

Parish and town councils are local authorities and have a limited number of duties. They do, however, have wide powers, should they decide to use them and they may, with agreement of the district or county council, exercise certain functions normally carried out by those councils.

By their very nature, parish and town councils should maintain a close relationship with the local community. They encourage the public to attend council meetings as observers and they are obliged to organise at least one town or parish meeting each year which all local electors may attend and may raise issues of local concern.

THE POWERS OF PARISH AND TOWN COUNCILS

Some of the more important powers of parish and town councils are listed alphabetically below. Where a power is marked with an asterisk a parish or town council may, in addition to exercising the power itself, help another body to act by giving financial assistance.

 

FUNCTION
POWERS
Allotments Power to provide and maintain allotments for cultivation
Borrowing Parish and Town Councils can borrow money for up to a maximum of 25 years, provided official consent has been obtained.
Burial Grounds, Cemeteries and Crematoria - see also Churchyards  * Powers to provide and maintain and power to agree to maintain monuments and memorials.
Bus Shelters  * Power to provide and maintain bus shelters
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

Charities Duty to receive accounts of parochial charities
Churchyards - see also Burial Grounds, Cemeteries and Crematoria Power to contribute to the costs of a churchyard in use
Clocks  * Provision and maintenance of public clocks, on churches or elsewhere.
Community Centres - see also Halls, Public Buildings and Village Halls Power to provide and equip buildings for use of clubs having athletic, social or educational objectives
Conference Facilities Power to provide and encourage the use of conference facilities
Crime Prevention  * Powers to spend money on various crime prevention measures
Drainage Power to deal with ponds and ditches
Entertainments and the Arts  * Provision of entertainment and support of the arts
Footpaths - see also rights of way Power to repair and maintain public footpaths and bridleways
Gifts - see also land Power to accept
Halls - see also Community Centres, Public Buildings and Village Halls  * Provision of buildings for public meetings and functions, for indoor sports or physical recreation, or for the use of clubs or societies having recreational, social or athletic objects.
Highways

Power to light roads and public places

Power to provide parking places for vehicles, bicycles and motor-cycles

Power to enter into agreement as to dedication and widening

Consent of parish council required for ending maintenance of highway at public expense, or for stopping up or diversion of highway

Power to provide traffic signs and other notices

Power to plant trees, etc and to maintain roadside verges

Land

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

Power to accept gifts of land

Legal Proceedings Power to prosecute and defend any legal proceedings in the interests of the inhabitants. Power to take part in any public local inquiry.
Lighting Provision and maintenance of any footway lighting which lights roads or pavements provided the columns are not above specified heights.
Litter  * Provision of litter-bins in streets and support for anti-litter campaigns.
Open Spaces - see also Parks, Playing Fields, Recreation and Village Greens Power to acquire land and maintain open spaces for the benefit of the public
Parking Places Provision and management of car and cycle parks.
Parks - see also Open Spaces, Playing Fields and Recreation Provision and maintenance of public parks and appropriate facilities.
Planning Local councils have a right to be notified of any planning application affecting their area and to make comments which the planning authority must take into account.
Playing Fields - see also Open Spaces, Parks and Recreation  * Provision and maintenance of land for any kind of outdoor recreation, including boating pools.
Postal and Telecommunication Facilities Power to pay a public telecommunications operator any loss sustained in providing post or telegraph office or telecommunications facilities
Public Buildings and Village Halls Power to provide buildings for offices and for public meetings and assemblies
Public Conveniences Provision and maintenance of public lavatories.
Recreation

Power to acquire land for or to provide recreation grounds, 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

Rights of Way Maintenance of public footpaths and bridleways.
Roadside Verges Power to plant and maintain roadside verges.
Seats  * Provision and maintenance of public seats
Signs Power to erect signs which warn of dangers or announce a place name, or indicate a bus stop.
Swimming  * Provision of indoor or outdoor swimming pool or bathing places.
Tourism  * Power to contribute to organisations encouraging
Traffic Calming Powers to contribute financially to traffic calming schemes
Transport  * Powers to spend money on community transport schemes
Village Greens - see also Open Spaces  * Power to maintain the village or town green
War Memorials Power to maintain, repair, protect and adapt war memorials.
General Expenditure Power In any situation not covered by one of the specific powers described above a council may spend a limited amount of money on any purpose which in its opinion is of direct benefit to its area or to the inhabitants.
 

Please contact the Parish Clerk:
 

Rose Edwards, Townsend Cottage, Poyntington, DT9 4LF

Tel: 01963 220491 - Email: yeohead@dorset-aptc.gov.uk

 

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