Powers of Local Authorities

What your local Parish Council can and does do.

Each description is brief and is intended to be a general indication.

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 (for example the approval of the County Council to the provision of a car park). Local Councils must exercise their powers also subject to the provisions of the general law (for example planning permission is necessary for a sports pavilion). Information on all these matters should be in the hands of the Clerks of the Councils.

The powers are listed alphabetically. Where a power is marked with an asterisk the council may, in addition to exercising the power itself, help another body to act by giving financial assistance.

Allotments - Provision and maintenance of allotments for cultivation. Slaugham Parish has two allotments. One at Handcross and the other in Warninglid.

Arts - Developing and improving knowledge of the arts and the crafts which serve the arts.

Baths - Provision of baths and wash-houses (which in modern terms may mean a launderette).

Borrowing - Parish and Town Councils can borrow money for up to a maximum of 25 years with Consent of the DETR. The Council must have loan sanction consent before Borrowing

*Cemeteries - Provision and maintenance of burial grounds, cemeteries, crematoria, mortuaries and post-mortem rooms.

Churchyards - Power to contribute to the costs of a churchyard in use and a duty to maintain any closed churchyard where the duty has been transferred by the Church of England. The Parish Council contributes towards the upkeep of the churchyard at the church of St. Mary, Slaugham.

Clocks - Provision and maintenance of public clocks, on churches or elsewhere. The Parish Council made grants to Seaforth Hall, Warninglid for this purpose.

Commons - Power to protect any finally registered common which has no registered owner. The Parish Council is responsible for common land around Furnace Pond at Slaugham and parts of Coos Lane. It is also responsible for two village greens, one in Slaugham Village and the other at Pease Pottage.

Crime Prevention - installation of equipment and establishment of schemes for the detection or prevention of crime; making grants to the policy authority for these purposes. Security lighting was installed at the Pavilion Handcross together with steel shutters for the main entrance.

* Entertainments - Provision of any form of public entertainment and any premises for giving entertainments. (This includes maintaining bands or orchestras and providing for dancing.)