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Community asset transfer

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Who can do what

Wiltshire Council recognises that many community groups occupy land or buildings that are owned by the Council but wish to take them over (ownership and or management) or wish to take over other buildings owned by the Council within their community. The council agreed its Community Asset Transfer (CAT) Policy at the July 2011 Cabinet Capital Assets Committee.

Essentially this policy means the council can transfer the management and/ or ownership of the asset to the community and may do so in some instances, at less than market value, if sufficient social or economic benefits can be delivered by the proposal. This process also applies if parish councils or community groups want to take on and maintain local facilities such as parks and play areas.

The Process

Following receipt of an application, Community Area Managers work with Strategic Property Services to produce a covering report for the Area Board to consider the application. The Area Board make a decision on the CAT. If the property is classed as being of strategic importance to the council, the Cabinet Capital Assets Committee have the final say, taking into account the recommendation of the Area Board. This is explained further in diagram form in the PDFCommunity Asset Transfer Flowchart Community Asset Transfer Flowchart. 67kb

Who to contact in the Council

The Community Asset Transfer Checklist and Application Form is available online.

Community Area Managers should be contacted in the first instance and will work with Strategic Property Services to help progress any applications.

Support available and other considerations

The Council can provide advice on the interactions with requests for service delegation that may be part of any CAT application i.e. if a group wishes to take on and run a council service that is currently delivered out of a particular building.

Wiltshire Community Land Trust (WCLT) offer advice on establishing local Community Land Trusts. A Community Land Trust (CLT) is a legally incorporated, volunteer-led organisation that owns and manages assets for the benefit of a defined community. CLTs offer great opportunities for local ownership and control over the shaping of a community’s future, and improving the quality of life for all, helping to create places where people want to return to or to stay in to live and work, bring up their children, or enjoy in their retirement.

A particular characteristic of a Community Land Trust is that it provides an asset lock - any benefit that accrues from an asset has to be used for the benefit of the community it works for in perpetuity, and it cannot be disposed of for the profit of individuals. Through general information provision, targeted advice, setting up of appropriate partnerships, and one-to-one support, WCLT is set up to take community groups through the whole process of deciding whether a local CLT is right for them, and if so, helping to set one up.

Locality and their Asset Transfer Unit are a specialist national agency offering grants, advice and support in this area.

The Building Calculator tool can help community groups estimate the cost of taking on a building.

Related documents

PDFWiltshire community ownership of assets toolkit.pdf 853kb Wiltshire community ownership of assets toolkit

Last updated: 24 October 2012

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