Gittisham Parish Council grants & donation policy

Approved: 3rd March 2021

1. Definitions

A grant is awarded for a particular defined purpose.

A donation is awarded for general purposes.

Both are awarded for local Parish activities only.

 

2. Power

The Council occasionally receives requests for grants and donations from a variety of organisations and the aim of the Policy is to encourage and support activities and projects which will benefit the Parish of Gittisham.

Section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972 places restrictions on Parish Councils when it comes to making grants to other organisations or bodies.

One of those restrictions (paragraph 1of Section 137) requires that such expenditure “…..is in the interests of, and will bring direct benefit to, their area or any part of it or all or some of its inhabitants….”

The normal use to which this power is applied by local Councils is to provide funding to local organisations, e.g. Pre-School Groups, Scout Groups, Senior Citizens Groups etc. but clearly, one of the most important restrictions (as underlined above) is that a grant cannot be made to an individual for their own use, no matter what use and how good a cause that use may be (e.g. sponsorship for studying exchanges).

However, there may indeed be occasions where the grant can be paid to an individual where that individual is carrying out a service which benefits the local population. E.g. A Community First Responder (a NHS trained volunteer) whose role is to be the first on the scene as the result of an emergency call within a designated area (the Parish) to provide immediate life-saving support and who is required to raise funding to contribute towards the cost of the necessary equipment. It is clear that any grant made by the local Council will directly benefit recipients of the service and it is, therefore, our opinion that the grant can legally be given and the cheque made payable to the individual.

Section 137(4)(a) of the Local Government Act 1972 (the 1972 Act) for Parish Councils in England for 2019-20 is £8.12 per electorate.

3. Background

a) Any grants made available for such purposes are funded directly from the Parish Precept.

b) The Parish Council receives no other significant monies from any source (with the exception of grant monies received for particular projects and ring fenced for that purpose).

4. Policy

a) Any grant made by the Parish Council must directly benefit the Parish of Gittisham and its Parishioners. The Parish Council cannot make donations to individuals unless the Community directly benefit. (Thus the Parish Council cannot, for example, make a grant to a disaster appeal unless the disaster in some way affected the Parish or a substantial number of Parishioners.)

b) Grants and Donations cannot be made to fund political activities.

c) All proposed expenditure must be detailed in the Parish Council’s annual budget meeting, to enable calculation of the Council’s precept.

d) The organisation making a grant request should be a non-profit making voluntary organisation where membership is open (i.e. no discrimination of membership on grounds of sex, race, religion etc.)

e) The Parish Council will not fund events or activities which can be funded by the relevant participants or which can or will be self-supporting by means of donations, or grants from other organisations etc.

f) The Parish Council will consider applications for funds in situations:

  • where there is no other way of obtaining the relevant funds;
  • The funds will enable the relevant group or organisation to access or “unlock” funds or assistance from third parties; and
  • Monies have been donated or raised but these are insufficient and funds are needed to bridge the resulting gap.

g) The Parish Council will endeavour to provide assistance and support where appropriate to groups and organisations in the Parish wishing to access grants and other funds from third parties and local authorities.

5. Applications

a) All applications for grants or donations shall be made in writing to the Clerk to the Council who shall arrange for those applications which meet the Council’s criteria to be considered at the next meeting of the Council.

b) The grant available is limited to a maximum of £500 per application.

c) Only one grant will be given to any group or organisation, or for any particular purpose, in any financial year (1st April to 31st March).

d) If the Council considers that there are exceptional circumstances then it can decide to exceed these limits in b and c.

e) Grants cannot be awarded after the relevant event or project has been completed.

f) Applications must complete the Council’s application form.

g) Applicants whose application meets the criteria will be considered at the next meeting and submitted to Full Council for ratification, or directly to Full Council; applications will be notified in due course. Successful applicants shall provide details of to whom payment should be made and acknowledge receipt of the payment.

6. Conditions

a) The Parish Council will assess applications with particular reference to the number of Parishioners likely to benefit, or whether any particular category of Parishioners would receive specific benefit (e.g. children, older people, persons with any form of disability etc.)

b) Where a request for a grant/donation is agreed, the Council shall determine the amount, using the figure stated by the applicant as a guide only.

c) The grant or donations shall be used only for the stated purpose otherwise the monies shall be returned to the Council, except where the Council’s prior written consent has been given for the funds to be used for another purpose.

d) The Council may request that applicants provide written feedback explaining how the grant/donation has benefited their group/organisation. If feedback is required, this will be communicated in the decision letter.

e) The Council reserves the right to request repayment of any grant/donation where an applicant does not comply with these conditions.

7. Notes

a) The Council’s decision on any application is final and there is no right of appeal.

b) The Council reserves the right to decline any application without giving reasons for its decision.

c) The Council will not commit to any continuing expenditure.

d) Nothing in this Policy prevents the Council from providing a grant for donation to a group, organisation or project without application where the Council considers that the giving of such a grant or donation will bring benefits to residents of the Parish.

e) Where a Member of the Council is a member of a group/organisation applying for funding, that Member must declare, in accordance with its Code of Conduct, an interest in the matter and refrain from voting. Advice may be sought from the Monitoring Officer.

Please contact the clerk by email mailto:gittishamparishcouncil@gmail.com if you would like to request a copy of the application form.