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Is there any advice on Parish Councils receiving legacies ? Can they for example have a legacies strategy. Given one in six wills now contain charitable donations and with the costly reductions in local District Council services it does seem that this could  form a useful non precept source of revenue. Can a PC be proactive at all?

LGA 1972 s139 seems to cover the ability to receive gifts (in money) I am just seeking advice as to what is "acceptable" as I am sure many PC would love to receive extra money but are unsure how the encourage such donations
asked by (1.5k points)
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2 Answers

0 votes
I can't see a need for a "Legacy" strategy.  There are numerous sources of grant funding available for TC's/PC's to apply for - that should be where effort should be focused rather than hoping a deceased paritioner might leave a  bob or two.

Should a legacy be left to improve services for residents, I don't think  many Town and Parish Council's have the skills and capacity to take on functions that Principal Councils have had to scale back, and it would be better to let them have the funding if they already have systems in place.

If the will specifically nominates the Town/Parish Council as a recipient, the deceased's solicitor or executor will have to follow the instructions on the will as to how it is used and spent.  The only instance I could envisage is if a sum of money is specified  to be given for the PC to "Spend as they see fit" etc.
answered by (20.8k points)
All I ever see is ever increasing amounts appearing in the year round budget and earmarked reserves which flow through to an increased precept. While I hear a lot about the projects, never is anything said as to who will pay for them (grants) . It is assumed that as the precept is the only form of PC tax everything will be paid for an everybody pays basis. I used to be a trustee of a national charity who were quite open in that legacies were to be their main revenue channel. It was regarded as easy money. As a matter of principle I would not have a problem if some one said  "xx project is dear to my heart let me make a contribution" either directly or through a bequest. However the whole concept of  receiving gifts seems to be regarded as infra dig in Parish Council circles. One Cllr once said "you will never catch me will chasing".  The question I ask is why? . Google how Church Parishes embrace the fact .
I would be interested in knowing the main sources of grant funding for PCs and what sort contributions they make.
0 votes
There is certainly nothing to prevent parish councils from receiving such donations, so there is no reason why they can't be proactive in seeking them.  The difference between local councils and national charities is that the charities have an ongoing programme of work and need money every year for a specified purpose, whereas local councils might have a short term fundraising target (a new village hall being an obvious example), but the timescale would normally be limited to, say, five years, after which the money would no longer be required.  Legacies are more appropriate for the former.

Having said that, if you can find a specific long-term project, such as establishing a parish charity if you don't already have one, legacies would be an important part of the mix.  Asking people to make a donation to a parish council many years in the future for no specific purpose is unlikely to yield a positive response.
answered by (29k points)
Thanks Dave, I agree that leaving money to a PC cant be regarded as “sexy”. My point is however that it is doable. There are may community services which are not necessarily directly linked to the PC which could receive money direct but there could be some people who want to leave money generally to the village under a S137 type banner or say the Village Hall fund. At the moment people rarely give as they are not aware that the facility exists. Meanwhile 40% of all charity revenue comes from bequests.  My suggestion would require the probable establishment of a dedicated “for the benefit of the community” charity, which could also process income from a Village Lottery.  Here again my “thinking outside the box brain” has I believe established a way to make lottery subscription donations targetable and gift- aid able. The problem will be getting Councillors to “go for it”

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