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Dudley Council and asset transfer - presentation by Martin Shaw


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Dudley Council and asset transfer - presentation by Martin Shaw

  1. 1. Community Asset Transfer Martin Shaw – Principal Officer for Communities Dudley MBC DCVS Event – 16th July
  2. 2. Community Asset Transfer • The definition of Community Asset Transfer (CAT) is: “The transfer of land or buildings from the council’s freehold ownership into the stewardship and/or ownership of voluntary and community sector organisations.”
  3. 3. BACKGROUND • ‘Making Assets Work - Quirk Review 2007’ identified the benefits of local groups owning or managing community buildings • Localism Act 2011 put the emphasis on devolving power and services to local communities • Dudley’s Community Centres Review 2011 has identified the need for new ways of managing local community centres in the future • Cabinet Report Sept 2011 agreed a recommendation to develop the Asset Transfer Policy
  4. 4. PROCESS IN DEVELOPING THE POLICY • Quirke Report also recommended that Local Authorities should develop their own Community Asset Transfer Policy • A Policy draft was put together with the support of the Asset Transfer Unit (Locality) • The Draft Policy was circulated amongst internal partners within DMBC and external partners in the voluntary sector for comment • Final Draft was sent to cabinet for approval in February 2013
  5. 5. Asset Transfer Process • Local group identifies a building / piece of land that they are interested in taking on or defines their needs in terms of space, facilities etc • They complete an Expression of Interest form and send to the single point of contact (SPC) within the Authority • The SPC then speaks to the Directorate responsible for the asset to see if they are willing to go down the CAT route • It will also be referred to the corporate property group where a decision will be taken if the asset is classed as being of ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ value
  6. 6. Asset Transfer Process cont • The group is sent a copy of the ‘how to’ guide and they will be asked to prepare a business case • The process is slightly different for assets of ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ value • The business case will highlight the nature of the activities planned, financial projections and benefits to the wider community • This will be shared with the Directorate responsible for the asset as well as the Corporate Property group • The final decision will be taken by the Head of Legal and the Cabinet Member for Human Resources, Law and Governance
  7. 7. It is important to remember • Its is different to Community Right to Bid under the Localism Act • It is a voluntary process between the local authority and the community organisations • It only covers Council assets i.e. building / land owned by DMBC
  8. 8. Progress so far • Policy was agreed at Cabinet in February 2013 • The website page was developed on the DMBC site and went live in May 2013 • Up to date there has been 23 formal expression of interests as well as a number of informal enquiries • These cover a wide range of buildings, land and include groups with no specific assets in mind • 3 Community Asset Transfer have been approved in principal with others in the pipeline
  9. 9. Local Example-Lye & Wollescote Chapel • Listed building in a state of disrepair owned by Dudley Council • West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust have stepped in to save the building • Heritage Lottery Funding now secured • Deed of ownership now signed over to the Trust as of 31st March 2014
  10. 10. Local Example - Huntingtree Sons of Rest, Wall Well • Former Sons of Rest Building declared Surplus to requirements by Dudley Council • Local residents were concerned about the loss of local historic buildings • Hasbury Community Association were formed as a result and the CAT option was explored and business case put together • CAT was approved in April 2014
  11. 11. Any Questions?