Devolved services

Devolution is an important part of our agenda and allows us to give town and parish councils opportunities to meet community needs.

Some examples of the devolved services which we could offer are:

  • grass cutting
  • sign cleaning
  • sign clutter removal
  • keeping pavements free from encroachments

Read the Parish Devolution Technical Clarification (PDF,226KB) which will tell you more about what to expect when taking on devolved services.


If a town or parish council agrees to take on devolved services, we provide them with funding from the Buckinghamshire Council budget.

The amount given to town and parish councils for devolved services is calculated taking into account:

  • the amount it cost Buckinghamshire Council and our contractors to carry out these tasks when they were our responsibility
  • the length of footway in the parish or town council area

It is up to the Town or Parish Councils to set their level of service and some will cover additional costs themselves if they feel extra work is needed. Where there a particular areas where work will be more difficult to carry out and this may lead to increased costs, we are happy to discuss the possibility of more initial funding.

If parishes wish to look into loans to fund initial equipment costs, we recommend going to the Public Works Loan Board.


Clusters and parishes will need to arrange Public Liability Insurance (of £10 million) and, possibly Employers' Liability Insurance. Speak to an insurance broker for advice.

We are asking parishes to have full responsibility for works, although we will remain as the enforcement authority. Under devolution legislation, we remain as the principal authority and our statutory functions remain. However, we will seek to devolve liability for certain services.


A parish council can arrange for residents or volunteers to carry out minor works. The same safety requirements will apply to volunteers as to paid staff. Operatives, whether volunteers or paid staff, should be sufficiently trained for each task. We can help with the training of parish employees but if you decide to use a contractor it will be their responsibility to ensure staff are appropriately trained.

Standard of work

If devolved services are taken on, we have an agreed minimum standard that is expected for works carried out. For example, we expect that within grass cutting responsibilities, visual splays are kept clear to ensure that road users have clear site of the road. Beyond this, it is up to parishes to determine service delivery.

Guidance for carrying out devolved services

The below resources have been created as guidance to show parish councils how to safely carry out devolved tasks. They include health and safety considerations and lists of equipment needed.


Guidance has been created to show parishes how to safely use a:


Guidance has been created to show parishes how to safely and correctly:

Contact us

If you would like to express an interest in taking on devolved services or need support carrying out the services, contact [email protected].