Parish Councils are established by statute and carry out work that is allowed for in law. Generally they have a wide range of powers that can be used to benefit communities ranging from the provision of play areas such as our King George V field and community facilities to the provision of allotments and street lighting.
As an ‘eligible’ council, Yelvertoft Parish Council adopted the General Power of Competence in 2012. An eligible Parish Council is a local authority for the purposes of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of the 2011 Act and so has a general power of competence in accordance with section 1 of that Act.
Parish councils have a variety of powers and duties, all of which impact directly on the community.
The following are all under the remit of local councils:
- Burial Grounds, Cemeteries, Churchyards and Crematoria
- Bus Shelters
- Bye-laws – the power to make bye-laws concerning: baths and washhouses (swimming pools), cycle parks, mortuaries and pleasure grounds
- Clocks – public clocks can be provided and must be maintained
- Community Centres, Conference Centres, Halls, Public Buildings
- Drainage – of ditches and ponds
- Entertainment and the Arts
- General Spending – parish councils can spend a limited amount of money on anything they deem of benefit to the community that is not covered by the other specific responsibilities described in this list
- Gifts – parish councils may accept gifts
- Highways – lighting, parking places, right to enter into discussions about new roads and road widening, consent of parish council required for diversion or discontinuation of highway, traffic signs and other notices, tree planting and verge maintenance
- Land – acquisition and sale of
- Legal proceedings – power to prosecute and defend any legal proceedings in the interests of the community, power to take part in any public enquiry
- Litter – provision of litter-bins and support for any anti-litter campaigns
- Planning – parish councils must be notified of, and display for residents, any planning applications for the area. Any comments submitted to the planning authority by the parish council must be taken into account
- Postal and Telecommunication Facilities – power to pay a public telecommunications operator any loss sustained in providing services in that area
- Public conveniences – provision and maintenance of public toilets
- Recreation – provision of recreation grounds, public walkways, pleasure grounds, open spaces, village greens, gymnasiums, playing fields, holiday camps and boating ponds
- Rights of Way – footpath and bridleway maintenance
- Seats (public)
- Signs – danger signs, place names and bus stops signs
- Tourism – financial contributions to any local tourist organisations allowed
- Traffic Calming
- War Memorials
- Water Supply – power to utilise stream, well or spring water and to provide facilities for general use
Funding for the Parish Council to fulfil its obligations is provided by the contributions made by the parishioners in their Council Tax to Daventry DC, is paid to the Parish Council twice annually and is called the PRECEPT.
Clearly not all the above apply to Yelvertoft, as for instance we don’t have a boating pond or public conveniences, but most of the above this Parish Council has a duty to attend to.