One Okehampton resident has suggested that Okehampton Town Council offer grants to community interest groups (CICs) since the work of these groups goes towards helping the town.

At the annual town meeting this week (April 3), one member of the public queried why CICs were not eligible for town council grants despite providing a lot of support to members of the community.

The resident in question asked the council to review its policy on refraining from offering financial support to CICs as such a policy could cut out organisations offering vital community enterprise projects.

Unlike charities, which cannot make a profit by law and are reliant on donations and funding to support their work, CICs are allowed to profit from any business activities but must invest their surpluses in projects to support the local community.

Examples of such CICs in Okehampton include Immersion in the Community, the community kitchen and its new food hub enterprise and the Well-being Cafe on St James Street.At the moment, Okehampton Town Council offers large (over £500) and small (under £500) grants to charities whose work will directly benefit the residents of Okehampton.However, it does not consider applications from CICs, individuals, profit-making organisations or political groups. This financial year, the town council has allocated a sum of £29,000 which will go towards charities throughout the year. The council considers applications twice a year in May/June and November/December.