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I have been dealing recently with items of spend where the mover has little consideration of what budget it comes from let alone what power is to be used. Thats for Finance to sort out!!.  I am currently dealing with an application to put a slit stile in a privately owned wall to facilitate a short cut to a local park.  I suggested they can only use S137 and asked that the benefit be stated. After consulting NALC the message comes back its all OK .  The bottom line is that the "in the opinion of " and the "wholly unreasonable" elements with in this legislation really give Councillors so inclined an open cheque book to do what they want .  Does any one have a policy which seeks to weight what is an acceptable direct benefit (as opposed to indirect) i.e.  to qualify using S137
by (4.6k points)
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1 Answer

0 votes
It is simply a value judgement by the members of the council. The LTN on this includes the following warning to those making the decision:-

Expenditure incurred by a council under s.137 is open to challenge by the auditor, or by a local government elector objector at audit (s.27 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014), on the basis that the expenditure is larger than the direct benefit to the area or to residents would justify. Councils must therefore exercise care when considering the amounts of proposed expenditure under s.137 and, if in doubt, should seek advice before going ahead.

Not sure from whom we're supposed to seek the advice, but hey ho!
by (52.7k points)
The problem then Dave is who do the auditors confer with.  I have just however had the case in which they used S137 to fund a legal challenge not in their name .   That would be fine if they won.  But they have lost .  So no benefit whatsoever , Get out of that one
I thought of you when an article appeared on the BBC news website in the last few days. I believe I know the details of the case you're referring to and, if so, I have always thought that your council was misguided in providing the funds and I hope that a full and detailed investigation will now be conducted to ensure that such sums are not gambled in this way in future. Whether it was S137 or S111, the funds could have been better applied in other ways to improve the quality of life of your parishioners.

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