GENERAL POWER OF COMPETENCE AND GRANTS

0 votes
My PC has the General Power of Competence. It also has a grants policy which relates to up to £2k amounts. This policy stipulates certain exclusion provisions.  However, for amounts above £2k the provisions of the policy are often ignored (they don't have a large grants policy).  So my question is the GPC superior to any policy which may be set i.e can a policy be ignored if  Councillors so choose. I appreciate this doesn't strictly apply in my case but I am trying to understand if a policy is sacrosanct.
asked by (360 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
I'm not an expert on GPC, as it doesn't apply to any of my councils.  In simple terms, the GPC widens the council's powers.  But if any council, irrespective of GPC, approves a policy for any aspect of its operations, then it should abide by the policy.  If the policy is no longer in keeping with the wishes of the council, it should be amended or scrapped.
answered by (2.8k points)
0 votes

For reference the GPC briefing paper can be found here;  

https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN05687#fullreport

answered by (470 points)
0 votes
The purpose of the General Power of competence is to enable Local Authorities do do things outside their range of Statutory powers or current processes.  Since they have already have a grants Policy, a process is already in existence for providing grants.  The Gen Power of competence is not intended to be used as a means of circumventing existing powers, processes and policies.  But there is no mechanism for holding the Council to account other than raising concerns with the External Auditor.
answered by (3.1k points)
I fully understand the avenues for meaningful complaint have a very high threshold. The issues I have is that they have a grants policy but it only applies to grants below £2k.  To have no criteria for above £2k seems inconsistent. Too add insult to injury they seem to apply the GPC to this category. To me a grants policy should apply to all grants.

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