Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

1.

Applications for Financial Assistance. pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Continue consideration of request for financialassistance received from Jedburgh Leisure Facilities Trust (on behalf of Jedburgh Legacy Group) (Copy attached.)  

 

Minutes:

 

1.0          APPLICATION FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

              Jedburgh Leisure Facilities Trust       

1.2         With reference to paragraph 1 of the Minute of 8 December 2020, Legal advice had been sought and circulated to the Sub-Committee together with a letter from the Applicant, Mr Burt.  The Legal advice submitted stated that Common Good monies may be used for granting donations to public institutions or charities on condition that such donations must be granted to benefit the interests of the general public of the relevant area.  In terms of the specific question as to whether the Jedburgh Common Good Fund Sub-Committee (“the Sub-Committee”) was prevented in law from funding the application as a result of the possibility of the survey system that the funds would pay for being open to manipulation?

 

1.3         The advice given was that it would not. The Sub-Committee were entitled to continue to fund the application should they wish to do so and its actions in that respect would not be ultra vires, illegal or contrary to public policy.  The purpose of the survey was to assess whether the populace of Jedburgh would be in support of the applicant taking on care of town resources. It was for the Sub-Committee to consider whether it felt that it would be of benefit for the populace of Jedburgh to have such an endeavour funded in the sense of whether the outcome of such a survey would reasonably be seen as being of possible benefit to the town. 

 

1.4         Even if for example, some individuals were to vote more than once in the survey, it was not clear that this would be “illegal” in the sense of contravening voter laws such as those which relate to election of public officials or referenda. This was simply a survey being carried out to gauge opinion on a matter of relevance to the town. If it was manipulated then clearly its results would be unreliable but it would not on the face of it be illegal, bar perhaps some nefarious end purpose to the manipulation that would itself be the illegal act. There was no known law on how voluntary public surveys of this nature must be conducted or legal repercussions if that was not the case. It was suggested that the costs of carrying out surveys of this nature in the manner that would be required for the election of public officials or referenda would result in their being unduly onerous and in many cases surveys that could be of utility would not be able to proceed. The Sub-Committee it was suggested would have no legal prohibition on reaching such a view and it would be reasonable to fund a survey of this nature.

 

1.5         The matter simply came down to the judgement of the members of the Sub-Committee as to whether they thought the funding of the survey would be of benefit to the general populace of the town, or whether in the judgement of the Sub-Committee the possibility of the survey being open  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.

 

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