Beyond Asset Transfer 2021

 

VIEW: Beyond Asset Transfer Final Report

 

Community assets enrich our lives, help to create strong and resilient communities, and support the effectiveness of public services. As we continue to manage the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, community assets have never been more important.

The Co-operative Councils’ Innovation Network (CCIN) is a collaboration between local authorities who are committed to finding better ways of working for, and with, local people for the benefit of their local community.

Whilst some local areas have seized upon asset transfer as an opportunity, others have not. The Network wanted to find out from its members what has worked well, what has not worked so well, and why. This report aims to learn lessons from these experiences and use them to strengthen practice around asset transfer within local government and its partners.

Councils said the following contributed to successful asset transfer:

• A positive council strategy that articulates the role that Community Asset Transfer can play in wider council objectives, rather than simply a method of ‘getting assets off the books’.

• Patience and commitment to developing a long-term sustainable solution by both the council and the community group. • Continued support from the council – a ‘duty of care’ approach – for transferred assets.

• Positive press and councillor support, especially Cabinet member support, which maintains the council’s focus on the social value provided by assets.

• Ability of community groups to cover maintenance costs, thereby reducing liability to the council.

• Community groups being able to access funding for capital works.

• A good relationship between the council and the community organisation.

• Transfers where there are management committees or social enterprise structures already in place.

• Capacity building work with management committees.

• Organisations with highly experienced and competent staff/volunteers.

Community organisations highlighted the following success factors:

• Residents coming together around shared aims.

• Investment made by councils to bring buildings up to a usable state.

• Being given ‘licence to occupy’ whilst a lease was being drafted.

• Enthusiasm and talent amongst residents.

• Support from the wider community, including donations and offers of voluntary help.

• Informal support from officers and councillors, and ongoing lines of communication.

• Access to technical and legal expertise from external organisations. Contact and advice from other community-run facilities.

• Adequate financial support for the project.

Read more…