Powers of local authorities


There are a number of ways in which local authorities carry out their functions. Some functions are carried out by the members of the authority acting as a body at meetings. Some functions are carried out by committees and some functions are carried out through the council's chief executive.


At council meetings, the council may pass resolutions, for example to introduce or change charges and rates.

The council can also pass Bye-Laws when it is in the interests of the common good of the community that an activity should be regulated or controlled. It also has the power to make Bye-Laws to prevent or stop any nuisance in the area.

Local authorities frequently make Bye-Laws in relation to the control of parking, litter and animal control (specifically dog control and control of horses.

Two months before making a Bye-Law, the local authority must publish a notice in a newspaper circulating in the area to which the Bye-Law relates, indicating that it proposes to make the Bye-Law. The public is entitled to inspect the proposed Bye-Law and make submissions about it before it comes into effect.


If you wish to inspect a Bye-Law, you may do so during office hours at your local authority office. There is no charge for inspection of the Bye-Law.

If you wish to obtain a copy of the Bye-Law, you may have to pay for the cost of copying it.

How to apply

To inspect a Bye-Law, simply go to your local authority office and request the Bye-Law in question. You may also request a copy - you may be charged a reasonable fee for copying it.

If you wish to make submissions on the Bye-Law, you may do so in writing. You must deliver your submissions to the local authority within the time limit. The time limit is specified by the local authority but it cannot be less than 7 days after the end of the period for inspection.

Page edited: 25 August 2014