Section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972 enables local councils to spend a limited amount of money for purposes for which they have no other specific statutory expenditure.
Section 137 (1) of the Local Government Act 1972 is a statutory power. It gives council’s the power ‘to incur expenditure for purposes not otherwise authorised.’ It is only used when there is no other specific power available; it is a ‘power of last resort’, it must benefit some or all inhabitants, not an individual, nor can it be made retrospectively.
S137 was amended in s36 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. The amendment stipulates that expenditure and benefit must be balanced.
S137 payments are index-linked. The figure for 2019/2020 is £8.12. The annual s137 budget is limited and calculated by multiplying £8.12 by the total number on the electoral role on 1 April. Financial records must show a separate account for s137 spending.
A donation to the Royal British Legion for a wreath is one example of s137 expenditure.
As Bickleigh Parish Council receives several such requests it is necessary to implement policy guidelines for the allocation of grants and donations.
It is the policy of Bickleigh Parish Council that grants and donations are allocated primarily for the benefit of Bickleigh Parish and its residents.
Criteria for Grant and Donation Applications
- Applications must be from non-profit organisations or groups providing direct benefit to Bickleigh Parish residents or the fabric of the Parish.
- Requests will not be considered from:
Individuals; non charitable bodies outside of Bickleigh Parish; for work related to Bickleigh Parish; charitable bodies that have not provided benefit within or for Bickleigh Parish in the preceding 12 months; if Bickleigh Parish Council consider there is no reasonable expectation that any benefit for Bickleigh Parish is likely to be gained; bodies from other areas of the UK unless the service they provide significantly benefits the Parish or its residents; projects that replace funding by public sector bodies.
- Applicants must complete the attached form and return it to the Parish Clerk.
- .Applicants must provide copies of their last 12 months accounts with their application form.
- Requests are to be for a single donation in any financial year and should not be relied upon in future years.
- Funding must only be used for the agreed purpose.
- An end of project evaluation must be submitted to the Council in writing within six months of project completion.
- If the full amount granted is not used for the agreed purpose the balance must be returned to Bickleigh Parish Council.
- Any publicity must acknowledge the funding provided.
- All grants and donations requests meeting the criteria will be considered at the next Full Parish Council after receipt by the Parish Clerk.
- If the application is successful in securing a donation this will be paid by cheque immediately following the meeting.
- For donation requests considered favourable the Council will decide the level of support it is able to make in each case. This cannot be more than the sum requested.
- The decision of the Council is final.