Can a parish council buy a modest wedding gift for a member?

0 votes
We have a young member who is getting married and Council want to consider buying a modest wedding gift. Can this be done under s.137, in much the same way as retirement gifts to councillors are?
asked by (3.9k points)

1 Answer

+1 vote

Why can't you just have whip round  and leave the precept untouched?

Section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972 enables local councils to spend a limited amount of money for "purposes for which they have no other specific statutory expenditure".  However, in Principal Authorities that would be frowned upon for staff & probably members too - a whip round is the norm.   If Parish electors find out that you are spending their money on gifts etc you could end up in trouble.  Have a look at this which happened in my neck of the woods:  See https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/11052635.council-defends-itself-saying-it-represents-over-35000-people-and-carries-out-important-services/

answered by (4.5k points)
edited by
Good answer. I'd add that section 137 has restrictions that would almost certainly preclude its use in this context.The expenditure must be such that it "will bring direct benefit to, their area or any part of it or all or some of its inhabitants". That implies not a single individual. Section 137 also requires that the benefit from the spending must be "commensurate with the expenditure to be incurred". I wouldn't think that taxpayers would consider that to be satisfied in this case.

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