Soham Town Council may, where it collects from its own annual council rate demand (precept) and under numerous Powers under Laws, provide functions and activities that are in the main the Duty, responsibility and undertaken by Higher Tier Authorities (District and County Councils). Soham Town Council currently collects a very minimal amount of money for these uses as such expenditure could and often does constitute ‘double (and non transparent) taxation‘ of its residents.
As service provision and functions by these Higher Tier Authorities and Statutory Bodies is reduced, eroded, discretionally removed or attempts are made to ‘delegate’ them to Lower Tier (parish and town) councils Soham Town Council is mindful that the money previously provided by the Ratepayer for these services and functions is not being similarly passed on or is insufficient to be effective.
Soham Town Council therefore only retains a very small amount of money each year to provide Grants and Financial Support for activities and functions that remain in the main as Duties of Higher Tier Authorities to perform and for which these Authorities along with Police and Fire Services combined receive in excess of 95% of local residents’ council tax annually.
The Council has also an ability to spend money under its s137 Powers which is a ‘free resource’ based on the number of electors in the Parish multiplied by an annual £ rate set by Central Government which is unique to Parish & Town Councils that do not retain the Power of General Competence (Soham Town Council is currently not eligible to use this Power as it does not have the required level of 2/3 elected membership). More information on this ability to levy rates from residents by s137 may be obtained by clicking here.
Soham Town Council historically has collected only a minimal proportion of the sum allowed it under s137 annually and therefore retains proportionately less per Elector to distribute in Grant and Financial assistance under this Power.
Currently the Council provides financial support annually for:
- Traffic Management and Control for the Remembrance Day Parade
- A number of requests received annually from community groups for materials, equipment, insurance costs and other financial support
- CCC’S Annual Summer reading challenge
- For this Financial year only, and due to the effects of the Pandemic on not-for-profit Community Groups the Council will provide the recreation ground & Pavilion (during office hours) free for use. For more information and application please contact the Office.
If you wish to apply for a Grant from Soham Town Council please click here for more information and an application form. Please note speculative request by letter and without a completed application for will not be progressed, that part of the Grant Award Policy requires applicants to demonstrate ‘match funding’ either in terms of revenue or in non-paid volunteers’ time and are required to attend/provide report at the annual town meeting.
For other local community grants and financial support available please click here.