In addition to having the power to levy a precept each year, the council has the power to incur expenditure. Legislation permits local councils to exercise a wide range of discretionary statutory powers to provide additional services and/or amenities in their area. These powers include a wide variety of things such as providing litter bins, lighting, transport, public toilets, and recreation facilities. However, the council must have the legal power to act and use a specific statutory power to undertake an activity and incur expenditure on specific activities or items. If there is no legal power to act then that decision and expenditure could be legally challenged as being ‘unlawful’. This includes the awarding of grants. Under the Local Government Act 1972, s111 the Parish Council is empowered to do anything (whether or not involving the expenditure, borrowing or lending of money or the acquisition or disposal of property or rights) which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the discharge of its functions. Therefore the council can lawfully issue grants pertaining to its statutory powers.
For grant applications for activities or items not covered by this power, a local council may be eligible to use the ‘general power of competence’ (GPC)  if it can meet certain conditions, which gives it the power to do anything that an individual can do (unless specifically prohibited) and it then does not have to rely on specific powers.
If a council does not have the general power of competence then it either has to rely on a specific power or the power under s.137 of the Local Government Act 1972. This refers to a section of the Local Government Act 1972, usually known simply as “Section 137”, which enables a local council to incur expenditure which is “in the interests of and will directly benefit its area or any part of it and some or all of its inhabitants”. Section 137 is used when there is no other specific power available and confers powers to make grants to voluntary bodies, fundraising events, organisations providing not for profit public services, and to contribute to charities and disaster appeals. The benefit accruing must be commensurate with the expenditure incurred, which is a decision for the council. Examples of s.137 expenditure include village histories, plaques, prizes, flood relief, landscaping and flower shows. Section 137 expenditure is limited to a specified amount each year, which is then multiplied by the number of electors in the parish. The set amount is updated annually.
Grants are primarily funded through the precept. Each year the Parish Council will set a grants budget and grant applications are therefore to be considered within the financial constraints of the Parish Council. The maximum grant to any one organisation will normally be no more than £1000 in any financial year. The Clerk will advise the council on whether it has the power to make a grant. The Parish Council must be satisfied that there is a legal power to make a grant.
1. Any Registered Charity, Voluntary Group, Community Organisation or agency that operate within the Parish and are of benefit to the local community, with the following provisos:
▪ The Council will not fund activities that it considers to be the responsibility of a Statutory Authority.
▪ The Parish Council will not usually be able to consider applications from schools for an activity that takes place within the school day (this is the responsibility of the statutory authority or MAT) though there may be instances where the Parish Council can consider grants from organisations associated with the school and where there is a wider benefit beyond education alone.
2. To qualify for an award the applicant must be able to demonstrate that any funding from the Council will benefit the Parish, or residents of the Parish.
3. The Council cannot fund activities outside its legally defined powers and functions.
WHAT YOU CAN APPLY FOR
· Grants are normally awarded for a specific purpose. This is intended to be for an event, activity or project that will be completed in less than 12 months from the date the grant is awarded.
· The council specifically welcomes applications where other sources of funding have been identified. These may be from an organisations own reserves, grants from other bodies, or targeted fundraising.
· Where a project is dependent on other funding, the council may delay the awarding of an approved grant until remaining funds have been secured or there are sufficient funds to allow an agreed part of the project to complete.
· Grants will not be considered for projects that have already been completed.
· Grants may be submitted at any time but will normally only be considered at the April and October Parish Council Meeting. Deadline for applications are two weeks before the meeting date.
· Additional applications within a 12-month period will not normally be considered.
· Temple Cloud with Cameley Parish Council will consider applications for grants that they consider are permissible within their powers from Registered Charities, Voluntary Groups or Community Organisations.
· Extended Grants i.e. grants that run over a period of more than one year will not normally be considered.
· All grant applications must be in writing in the form of a fully completed application form and supported by a financial statement (e.g. statement of accounts, income & expenditure) and sent to the Clerk.
· The applicant is welcome to attend the meeting at which the application is to be considered and at the Chairman’s discretion may address the Councillors to give background and further information for a maximum period of three minutes.
1. The award must be used for the purpose for which the application was made.
2. Upon completion of the project, any remaining funds should be returned to the Parish Council where it will be held as an earmarked reserve.
3. If the group is unable to use the award for the stated purpose, all monies must be returned to the Council.
4. All grant recipients must use monies within that financial year.
5. Grant recipients will be required to provide evidence of how the grant was spent to the Parish Council. Recipients of grants in excess of £250 will need to provide a written report of how the grant money has been used within 12 months of receipt of the grant. This may take the form of an annual report, set of accounts or letter to the Parish Council which clearly identify the manner of spending. The written report must be deposited with the Clerk of the Council and hence becomes a document liable for inspection by the general public under the provision of Section 228 of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended). If no report is provided, is incomplete or does not satisfactorily set out how the money has been spent, the Parish Council reserve the right to request a refund of monies awarded.
6. Recipients of grants will be asked to acknowledge Council support appropriately.
 For example, the Parish Council can also make a capital grant or loan to a non-profit making voluntary organisation to provide recreational facilities which the council would also have power to provide,
 The conditions for eligibility are that the council must pass a resolution, employ a ‘qualified’ clerk who has passed a specified sector qualification, and have two thirds of Councillors elected or have stood for election, even if unopposed (but not co-opted or appointed).
 This act empowers a local council to spend up to a prescribed amount in any one year. This ‘free resource’ must be for the benefit of the inhabitants of the area or part of them. This figure is agreed annually by the Government using the Retail Price Index.