Local charities and voluntary groups can apply each financial year. Applications with current set of accounts must be sent to the Clerk no later than 30 June each year. Clerk@bottesford.org
Section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972
10. The maximum amount which a council may spend under section 137 in any one year is a prescribed sum per head of the "relevant population". The relevant population is the number of persons on the electoral roll for the town, parish or community on 1 April.
11. Certain amounts specified under sub-section 4B have to be deducted from the council’s gross expenditure for the year in order to calculate the maximum permitted expenditure under the section. These include amounts paid by principal authorities under section 137 to parish and community councils.
12. The maximum amount which may be spent in any one financial year is calculated in accordance with Schedule 12B to the 1972 Act (inserted by the LGA 2003). The basic amount of £5 per elector was set at 1 April 2004, with subsequent annual amounts being calculated by reference to the movement of the retail prices index. The maximum amount for 2019–20 is £8.12 per elector in both England and Wales.
Authorisation of expenditure and accounts
Grants and loans to voluntary bodies, charities, etc.
15. Under section 137A a council which gives financial assistance (by way of grant or loan) equal to or exceeding the "relevant minimum" to a voluntary body, or to a charity or not-for-profit public service body, must require the body or charity to provide a written statement of how the money has been spent, within 12 months after the assistance has been given. The "relevant minimum" is £2,000 in England and £5,000 in Wales. In practice, a council would be well advised to require the charity or other body to provide a copy of its accounts showing the receipt of the council’s contribution whatever the amount. It would also be good practice to require a body or charity to provide a financial statement or accounts before a grant or loan is given.
The power of general competence – England only
16. Part 1 of the Localism Act 2011 provides for local authorities to have a general power of competence. Section 1 of the Act gives principal authorities and “eligible” parish councils in England a power to do anything that generally individuals can do. The power (with some restrictions; see below, paragraph 20) can be exercised in any way whatever, including:
(a) anywhere in the UK or elsewhere;
(b) for a commercial purpose or otherwise for a charge, or without charge: and
© for, or otherwise than for, the benefit of the authority, its area or persons resident or present in its area.
The generality of the power is not limited by the existence of any other power of the authority which (to any extent) overlaps the general power.
Eligible parish councils
17. A parish council (but not a parish meeting of a parish where there is no parish council) is eligible if it comes within the compass of the Parish Councils (General Power of Competence) (Prescribed Conditions) Order 2012 (SI 2012/965). The Order lays down the following conditions for eligibility:
(a) the number of members of the council that have been declared to be elected, whether at ordinary elections or at a by-election, is equal to or greater than two-thirds of the total number of members of the council;
(b) the clerk to the parish council holds:
(i) the Certificate in Local Council Administration;
(ii) the Certificate of Higher Education in Local Policy;
(iii) the Certificate of Higher Education in Local Council Administration or
(iv) the first level of the foundation degree in Community Engagement and Governance awarded by the University of Gloucestershire or its successor qualifications; and
© the clerk to the parish council has completed the relevant training, unless such training was required for the purpose of obtaining a qualification of a description mentioned in paragraph (b).
2 (2) For the purposes of this paragraph, “relevant training” means training:
(a) in the exercise of the general power; or
(b) provided in accordance with the national training strategy for parish councils adopted by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), as revised from time to time.
18. A parish council which has adopted the general power of competence cannot also incur expenditure under section 137 of the LGA 1972.
19. The power to promote well-being enacted by the LGA 2000 is repealed so far as England is concerned.
Limits on the general power
20. Section 2 sets out the boundaries of the general power, requiring local authorities to act in accordance with statutory limitations or restrictions. Limitations that apply to existing powers that are overlapped by the general power are applied to the general power. So, for instance, if an existing power requires a particular procedure to be followed, the same procedure will apply to the use of the general power to do the same thing. It also applies any express prohibitions, restrictions and limitations within primary or secondary legislation to the use of the general power. A distinction is drawn between restrictions in pre-commencement legislation and those in post-commencement legislation. Restrictions in post-commencement legislation will only apply to the general power where they are expressed to do so. The general power does not enable a local authority to make arrangements for the discharge of its functions or for governance beyond what is permitted under the Local Government Acts 1972 and 2000.
21. Section 3 restricts the ability of a local authority to charge for providing a service to a person using the general power, or where they are using an overlapped power. Local authorities can charge up to the full cost of recovery for discretionary services. Section 93 of the LGA 2003 gives relevant authorities – including parish and community councils and parish meetings – power to charge for discretionary services related to specific statutory functions.
22. Section 5 enables the Secretary of State:
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