The heirachy of councils is very difficult to understand. Parishioners will contact the parish council with all sorts of queries and often get quite irate when they are advised... We dont have the power, or its not us is the district council.
As a parish council we are only allowed to carry out duties under which we have the power to do so. Attached is a list
Some examples are
No ball Games
The parish coucnil do not have the power to stop youth playing ball on open spaces. We are not police dont have legal powers. We can erect a sign asking for it to be adheerd to, but ultimatey if it is ignored we cannot do anything further.
Speeding and Antisocial Parking
This again is something that we try and help, and look at grant funding to help with signage, cameras etc, but ultimately it is a County Council and police matter, The County council employ street enforecement officers (Traffic Wardens) who would deal with parking offences - (yellow lines, zig zags, overstaying parking times) and the police would be repsonsible for antisocial or illegal parking.
Grass Cutting and Trees/Hedges Maintenance
This is a very hard area to explain as all three levels of council (parish, district and county) are resposible for differing areas, but also housing associations and developers themselves can be responsible, depending on the legal land owners. There is no black and white ruling.
Generally the parish council are responsibel for parks, play areas, public open spaces and cemeteries and allotments. The county council are responsible for cutting highway verges, and rural areas and the district any green spaces on their developements, Sometimes a developer may not transfer the open spaces and parks in his development to the parish, he will hand it over to a management company, and the residents have a 'cimmunity charge' annually that they have to pay as part of their deeds to maintain these areas.
Leicestershire County Council are responsible for all street lighting
Litter and Bins
North West Leicestershire District Council are responsbile for waste bins on the public Highways and will empty them along with fly tipping. The parish council have to pay to have bins installed on the play areas and cemeteries, and We employ staff to litter pick our play areas and to empty the litter bins. If items are fly tipped onto our play areas we have to pay to have them removed, which ultimately ends up being paid by you the tax payer!
powers and duties (PDF, 38 Kb)
Parish council powers and duties
General Power of Competence
Local Councils in England were given a General Power of Competence in the Localism Act 2011, Sections 1-8. This means that Councils, once adopting the power, no longer need to ask whether they have a specific power to act. The Localism Act 2011 s1 (1) gives local authorities including town councils "the power to do anything that individuals generally may do as long as they do not break any other laws". It is a power of first resort.
Restrictions in law which apply to the use of the General Power of Competence include the duties on councils to act to prevent crime and disorder; to respect human rights; to consider biodiversity; and to protect personal data. Sometimes a council can do things that an individual can't do such as creating byelaws, raising a precept or issuing fixed penalty notices but it must do so using the specific original legislation. The General Power of Competence does not mean the Council can delegate decisions to individual councillors. This procedural matter remains enshrined in law.
Ibstock Parish Council adopted the General Power of Competence. This power remains with the Town Council until the Annual Meeting following the next ordinary election. it can then be readopted at that Annual Meeting if the Council is still eligible.
In order to be eligible for the General Power of Competence there are two criteria that must be fulfilled:
At the time when the General Power of Competence is adopted, at least two-thirds of the total seats on the council must be held by members who stood at the last ordinary election or subsequent by-election, i.e. council members who have been elected (even if unopposed) rather than co-opted or appointed ie 8 councillors
The Clerk must hold the Certificate in Local Council Administration or an equivalent qualification.