The Parish Council has a number of legal responsibilities as well as powers; some of these are listed below and may be among the topics in the village appraisal.
In general the Parish Council has powers to provide/maintain or otherwise deal with:
- Bus shelters
- Community centres
- Community transport schemes
- Crime prevention measures
- Entertainment & the Arts
- Public footpaths and bridle ways
- Recreation grounds
- Recreational facilities
- Roadside seats and shelters
- Trees etc. and roadside verges
Recent legislation has given some Quality Councils additional powers in the area of crime and disorder, dog offences, litter, graffiti, abandoned vehicles and fly-tipping.
Over the years the scope and detail involved in the Councils work has been increasing steadily against a background of more complex and demanding legislation. This is particularly relevant in planning, finance and ethics where there now have to be clear audit trails. Informal arrangements common in the past are no longer acceptable and decisions on council expenditure have to be based on a critical analysis of the needs of the parish, taking into account the Government's overriding principle of "Best Value'. It is in this context that the Parish Action Plan is important as it will focus on and prioritise the issues and interests of the community.
It is mandatory each year for the Council to formulate its budget and it is this which is used as the basis for setting the precept. The precept is the specific levy relating to this parish and is the smallest component of the council tax which funds the county, district and parish expenditure. Woodhurst parish levy per household has been, and still is, one of the lowest in the District