Posts Tagged ‘Birmingham City Council’

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…)

Community Asset Transfer in Birmingham – Key Lessons – Karen Cheney

Posted on 17th February 2011 by

Karen Cheney, Birmingham City Council

Karen Cheney has been the co-ordinator of  the Community Asset Transfer Development Programme as part of her job as Senior Manager – Community Empowerment Projects Lead in the Neighbourhood and Communities Team of Birmingham City Council – Constituency Services… this is what she’s learned:

  • We did it! We’ve come a long way very quickly, but it’s complex – acknowledge the need to be in it for the long haul, and lots of patience for all partners
  • AWARENESS – CAT is not resource neutral for either side – time, capacity and finance
  • LEARNING is key for everyone – Local Authority and other public agencies, not just Third Sector Organisations (TSOs) and learning from our mistakes and change as well as the good practice and success.
  • HONESTY – CAT is not for everybody – not enough to be a good idea. Needs sound business plan, governance and finance
  • RELATIONSHIPS first – Asset Transfer is so much more than the building/asset. More to do with relationship building and strengthening communities. Physical regeneration/refurbishment can be the catalyst for social regeneration, social enterprise and entrepreneurship
  • LINKAGES – importance of joint approach and linking property function and community development process – strategic context and embedding
  • VALUING not just cost – investment and commitment
  • FLEXIBILITY – of all partners especially LA
  • Vision, Innovation and Risk – essential on both sides
  • Key has been the PARTNERSHIP WORKING, engagement and empowerment with Third Sector Partners and internally with colleagues
  • COMMUNICATION and use of language – honest robust dialogue and challenge to build mutual trusting mature relationships adult to adult rather than parent/ child – usefulness of neutral facilitators
  • Importance of Celebrating Success – reward and recognition of largely voluntary input from TSOs
  • Useful to have a Champions – political and key officer(s) – statutory and voluntary  sector
  • Information and Learning should be open and accessible to as many people as possible – website development

Karen Cheney on lessons from the Community Asset Transfer Development Programme in Birmingham

Posted on 28th May 2010 by

Kareh Cheney of Birmingham City Council

Karen Cheney has been the co-ordinator of  the Community Asset Transfer Development Programme as part of her job as Senior Manager – Community Empowerment Projects Lead in the Neighbourhood and Communities Team of Birmingham City Council – Constituency Services.   Below she talks very clearly about what the programme has achieved (more…)

Roger Lloyd – senior lawyer at Birmingham City Council talks about his experience of Community Asset Transfer

Posted on 24th May 2010 by

Roger Lloyd is the Head of Regeneration and Property Law for Birmingham City Council Legal Services.  Click below to listen to his thought on lesson from the Community Asset Transfer Development programme.

[podcast]http://communityasset.podnosh.com/files/2010/05/rogerlloyd.mp3[/podcast]

Roger’s role was looking after the lawyers in his team who were developing after the lease document, aiming to make sure the governance and accounting side works satisfactorily.  He says a key issue was that the contracts had to take into account the impact of International Financial Reporting Standards which is a radical change, as of April 1st 2010,  in how local government accounts for assets on their books.

Advice to other council officers:

  1. Work with accountants and lawyers of all of the people involved from the beginning, concentrating on securing all the right authority from all the right partners at the very start.  This makes sure that the transaction has the right approval early.
  2. The lawyers need to be brought in right at the beginning to ensure that plans fit the law.
  3. There always needs to be proper communication, and if one side is not understanding the other that is proper communication. Lawyers need to make sure that they iron out misunderstanding by also using plain English.

For third sector organisations:

  1. The project manager from the third sector organisation needs to take time to understand the legal hoops that need to be jumped through.You may not like the position, but understanding it will help
  2. Remember we are trying to find a way through for you.

If you have any thoughts on Roger’s observation you could leave a comment below.