1. Our grant terms and conditions
When we put in place a funding agreement with a LTO we ask them to sign terms and conditions. In the prohibited purposes section it states: “Grants must not be used for any purpose which is prohibited by Big Local funding, including… political activities.”
Although in the main Big Local partnerships (where they are not constituted charities) are not subject to Charity Commission guidance for the purpose of clarity we have adopted the definition of “political activity” used by the Charity Commission (you can find it at the para 2.4(1) of Charity Commission Guidance CC9).
The commission uses this term [“political activity”] to refer [amongst other things] to activity
- seeking to influence political parties or independent candidates, decision-makers, politicians or public servants … in various ways in support of the desired change…
The primary purpose behind the grant conditions in relation to political activities is to ensure that:
- Big Local areas do not get drawn into matters of party political controversy at a local level, or become associated with the political positions of local political parties
- Big Local funds are not spent on activities that might be interpreted as politically-focused campaigning
We recognise that one of the big benefits of Big Local is its ability to provide local residents with a voice and the skills and confidence to influence decisions made in their area, and we have no wish to unnecessarily constrain this as a result of this guidance.