Author Archive

Birmingham City Council – Community Asset Transfer Process

Posted on 9th August 2013 by

Since 2011 there has been a  Cabinet approved  agreed Birmingham CAT Protocol and Way of Working for city council owned assets (buildings and land). This means for Voluntary and Community Groups in Birmingham there is a consistent and transparent pathway  from the initial expression of interest to any agreed point of transfer.

Community Asset Transfer ( CAT) is not an automatic right like some of the recent  ones that have come into legislation ie Community Right to Bid and Community Right to Challenge but based on an individual business case. Please remember  not all buildings are available for CAT.

In Birmingham CAT means …..

  • Transfer of buildings and/ or land
  • Leasehold not freehold – generally on a full repairing lease and up to 25yrs (negotiable)
  • Economic Rent offset by Valuing Worth
  • to bona fide “not for profit” community  organisations (not for commercial profit making purposes but community benefit) eg Charity, CIC , Social Enterprise

A not for profit organisation can be defined as one which uses its surplus revenues to realise its social goals rather than distributing them as profit or dividends plus an “asset lock ” and clearly stated social goals/ focus on community benefit.

The up to date Forms are available on the Tab – BCC Protocol and New Way of Working

You may find the stories on the website from Community Organisations and Officers useful if you are thinking of undertaking a CAT.                  

   (Please note some of the information may now be slightly out of date).

The Community Sport Asset Transfer Toolkit

Posted on 17th May 2011 by

Sport England have just launched an interactive asset transfer toolkit for sport – commissioned by Sport England and produced by Locality’s Asset Transfer Unit.

The toolkit is a good first point of information on asset transfer from a sports perspective. The toolkit provides information, resources and case studies that will be of use for anyone attempting asset transfer in a sports context.

On going work with Community Asset Transfer in Birmingham

Posted on 4th April 2011 by

Community Asset Transfer…”There are risks but they can be minimised and managed – there is plenty of experience to draw on. The secret is all parties working together”

(The Quirk Review – “Making Assets Work”)

It is hoped that this website will act as a support and guide  for both public agency staff and community organisations to the ins and outs of Community Asset Transfer in Birmingham giving an interesting, creative and importantly  “warts and all”  picture of previous and current work. (more…)

Theresa McIlkenny, Director, Norton Hall – “…this place is life changing”

Posted on 11th August 2010 by

Theresa Mcilkenny recently became a director at Norton hall after years benefiting from the services it provides for her and her son. Here she shares her thoughts on why community run places have particular strengths…

  • Becoming a director seemed like a natural progression, it allows us to help them understand what users expect from Norton Hall
  • You can only be as happy as you children, these place allows me to go out and what I want to do, that makes me happy.
  • The staff here are very committed to the children, to their activities to their education, it feels like a very family atmosphere. If  ever you’ve got anything you want to talk about they don’t dismiss it out of hand.
  • I didn’t want to live on benefits, wanted to be in work. I had misgivings about leaving my son anywhere, but they made me feel very comfortable.  In the end Richard was learning so much by being here he sometimes didn’t want to come home.
  • People don’t understand that places like Norton Hall can be life changing. It was life – changing for me.  It allowed me to make things better in my life.

Stevie Prior, Director of Norton Hall, on Community Asset Transfer

Posted on 11th July 2010 by

Interview at the Norton hall open day on July 11th 2010, Stevie Prior is the Norton Hall director who’s been involved in much of the negotiation over Community Asset Transfer. Here’s a sumary of her thoughts..

  • “Delighted to have got to this stage,  it’s been an “interesting process” and  very useful “learning curve”
  • there has to be a good relationship with city council officers
  • there is a tremendous amount of work involved and you have to allow for that
  • some elements – like legal aspect and dealing with the council in new ways gets “extremely serious and at times quite stressful”
  • I think we’ve emerged a more robust organisation
  • it’s enabled us to progress, which is what it was partly about anyway.
  • there is a need for council officers to understand a little more about community development

Norton Hall Mums, Shazia and Shabnam

Posted on 11th July 2010 by

Two Norton Hall mums, Shazia and Shabnam share their thoughts on Norton Hall, what it means to them and their families and the “new look”.  This short interview is a measure of how deeply people value this community lead place.

Norton Hall Open Day

Posted on 11th July 2010 by

Norton Hall open day on July 11th 2010 was a wonderful opportunity for the community to see round the new work on the building and remind themselves of why they value the place. This short film has contributions from Councillors, residents and the team at Norton Hall.

Paul Slatter, Director of Chamberlain Forum

Posted on 4th July 2010 by

Paul Slatter is the director of Chamberlain forum and has been involved  in a number of ways to  bring the parties together. Facilitating sessions and using a technique called structured dialogue method, which as the name suggests is a structured way of approaching a dialogue between 2 sides of an issue. For more information on Structured Dialogue see here and for a full report – as a word document – click here.

 

Some key points Paul makes are: (more…)

Nick Booth from Podnosh talks about his role as facilitator on the Community Asset Transfer programme

Posted on 3rd July 2010 by

Nick Booth from Podnosh talks about his role as facilitator on the Community Asset Transfer programme. Nick was asked to start this website to capture the story of the community asset transfer transfer programme and  record the learning journey of both officers and community activists involved.

 

His expectations of simply providing a place for participants in the transfer project to tell their stories changed, as this also became a social reporting project and he has called on his “old media” skills to capture the learning, experiences and journeys too.

Advice to other Local authorities and officers:

    • Don’t be afraid to tell the truth of your experience as you go through the process. This will be a useful assessment and understanding of how successful the process was for you and others.
    • This sort of open transparency should be used in all other communication methods too, and should eventually affect your organisations expectations of it self.
    • Don’t be afraid to be fallible, your humanity will strengthen the process and engagement will be deeper.

      Advice for third sector organisations:

        • Use online tools such as blogs and video as your project progresses  because in the end this will help you understand what you’ve achieved and the process. ,
        • Don’t just limit online tools to telling the story of your asset transfer – they are a great way to tell the everyday story of  what you do and who you work with.

          Norton Hall Nursery Workers

          Posted on 28th June 2010 by

          At the heart of what Norton Hall does is provide childcare for their local community. It helps the children learn and  frees up parents to work or study.

          Here three of the staff talk about what it means to work at Norton Hall.