Parish Council

Grants & Donations Policy

Grants & Donations

  1. Policy

1.1    Under paragraph (1) of Section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972, Shorne Parish Council may, at its discretion and subject to limitations and certain conditions, provide grants for specific projects which in the opinion of the Council is in the interests of, and which will bring direct benefit to the parish or any part of it or to all or some of its inhabitants, and where the direct benefits are commensurate with the expenditure.

1.2    Under paragraph (3) of Section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972, Shorne Parish Council may also, at its discretion, make donations to the general funds of UK charitable organisations or other UK bodies which, in the opinion of the Council, provide a valuable service to the public and which may, on occasions, be needed by inhabitants of the parish.  In addition to local organisations, examples may include organisations such as the Kent Air Ambulance Service or the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

1.3    Subject to other financial requirements, Shorne Parish Council shall normally set aside a combined sum equal to 5% of its annual budget for grants and donations.

1.4    In exceptional circumstances and where sufficient reserves are available, the Parish Council may award grants or donations in excess of this amount, provided always that the total amount of grants, donations and other similar payments made in any year shall not exceed the limit set out in paragraph (4) of Section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972.

1.5    It should be noted that other than for the clock and maintenance of the church burial ground, section 8 (1)(i) of The Local Government Act 1894 precludes Parish Councils from contributing towards any works (including works of maintenance or improvement of property) in relation to affairs of the church or held for an ecclesiastical charity.  There are differences of legal opinion on whether this remains the case, and clarification is being sought under the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill.  In the meantime, the Parish Council should not make any grants towards the maintenance and upkeep of church property without first seeking legal advice.

1.6    The Parish Council considers that section 8 (1)(i) of The Local Government Act 1894 does not preclude the Council from making modest donations to the church which are intended to defray the cost of providing refreshments and other services for the benefit of the inhabitants.  This is particularly the case for refreshments and services provided for attendees at the Civic & Patronal Service and at the Remembrance Service.

  1. Grant Applications

2.1    Applications for grants will be considered from charitable or not-for-profit organisations or groups which are based in Shorne or which provide direct benefits to all or some of its inhabitants. All grant awards are discretionary and subject to availability of funds.

2,2    Shorne Parish Council will only consider making grants towards specific projects or purchases (ie capital expenditure), and where the benefits are commensurate with the expenditure.

2.3    The parish council will not consider grants for general operating costs or general funds, but may consider making donations to charitable and voluntary organisations which, in the opinion of the Council, provide a valuable service to the community or parts thereof.  In these instances, formal grant applications are not required.  See section 5 below.

2.4    Organisations or groups requesting financial assistance towards a specific scheme, project, or purchase will normally be requested to submit:

  • A completed application form;
  • A copy of the latest approved income & expenditure statement or other financial report;
  • Copies of bank statements covering the past six months.

2.5    All grant applications must usually state:

  • The amount of grant requested;
  • If the organisation or group is a registered charity;
  • Full details of how the grant will be spent;
  • The total cost of the item or activity;
  • Where the remainder of any money will come from; and
  • How the grant will directly benefit the parish of Shorne or part thereof, or how the grant will benefit all or some of the inhabitants of Shorne.

2.6    Applications will not be considered from:

  • Individuals;
  • Political parties;
  • Private organisations operating as businesses;
  • Upward funders, i.e. local groups where fund raising is sent to a central HQ or Regional Centre for redistribution.

 

2.7    The Grant Application Form is appended to this document.

  1. Assessment of Grant Applications

3.1    The Clerk shall examine all or any applications received to determine whether the applicant fulfils the requirements of this policy (ie, it is a charitable or not-for-profit organisation or group based in Shorne or which provides direct benefits to all or some of the inhabitants of Shorne) and that the purposes of the grant fulfil the requirements of Section 137 of the Local Government Act, (ie, the application is for a specific project or purchase and it is “in the interests of, and will bring direct benefit to, Shorne Parish or any part of it, or all or some of its inhabitants”.

3.2    The Clerk shall present any applications that fulfil the above criteria to the next appropriate meeting of the Council as an agenda item for consideration by the Council.  This shall be accompanied by a statement of the amount remaining in the combined budget provided for Grants & Donations.

3.4    Each application will be considered on its own merits, and will take account of the level and suitability of benefit provided to the parish and/or its inhabitants.  To ensure fair distribution of resources, the Parish Council will take into account the amount and frequency of any previous grant awards. Account may also be taken of the extent to which funding has been sought or secured from other sources or fund-raising activities. Proposals for match funding will also be considered.  Any grants awarded shall be at the sole discretion of the Council, and the Council’s decision shall be final.

  1. Successful Grant Applications

4.1    All recipients must agree to advise their members and to acknowledge the contribution of Shorne Parish Council in any publicity materials.

4.2    Recipients must also agree to publication by Shorne Parish Council of details (including photographs) of any grant being awarded.

4.3    Payment of the grant shall normally be made by BACS.

4.4    Grant recipients shall be required to provide a report 12 months following the award, detailing how the grant has benefitted the community.

4.5    In the event that the grant has been awarded for a specific project or purchase, where the costs will not be incurred within 3 months of the date of the award decision, payment of the grant may be deferred at the discretion of the Parish Council.  Any grant money not spent shall be refundable to the Parish Council.

4.6    With the written agreement of the Parish Council, the grant recipient may utilise any unspent money for other purposes that benefit the local community or part thereof.

  1. Donations to Charitable and Other Organisation General Funds

5.1    The Council may consider making donations to the general funds of locally-based charities or other locally-based voluntary organisations which undertake works or provide services which are beneficial to all or some of the inhabitants of Shorne.

5.2    The Council may also consider making donations towards the general funds of other charitable bodies in furtherance of their work in the UK, and/or towards the general funds of other bodies which provide a public service in the UK (whether to the public as a whole or to any section of it), other than for the purposes of gain.  Examples may include organisations such as the Kent Air Ambulance Service or the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

5.3    From time to time, the Clerk shall draw the Council’s attention to any relevant appeals or literature that have been received directly by the Council.  Subject to the availability of funds, the Council will consider these together with other local charitable or voluntary organisations.

5.4    Organisations may be requested to provide details of the fund, including the works undertaken and services provided, and how this benefits the public or any section of it.

5.5    Any donations made will be solely at the discretion of Shorne Parish Council, and the Council will not enter into any detailed discussions or correspondence with charitable bodies or other bodies concerned.

 

This policy was formally adopted on 11 April 2024 and shall be reviewed periodically and when there are material changes to legislation or official guidelines.

To download application form, click on:  GRANT APPLICATION FORM