Posts Tagged ‘Valuing worth’

Ifor Jones on Community Asset Transfer

Posted on 23rd March 2010 by

Ifor Jones, BCC Director of Constituency Services

Ifor Jones is the Director of Constituency Services at Birmingham City Council.  As he says in the interview below, he got a involved in the current community asset transfer work a little down the line.

A key part he played was to help nurse through last minute contractual issues involving the council’s legal officers and Norton Hall and Witton Lodge Community Association.

Ifor also reflects on what he thinks the council and community groups can learn from the ground laid by the work of officers like Karen Cheney and Jane Edwards in property:

[podcast]http://communityasset.podnosh.com/files/2010/04/IforJonescommunityassettransfer.mp3[/podcast]

  • The legal side was “tough”.  Don;’t think a community hall is “small beer” compared with the big property deals.  The art is building trust but also recognising and respecting that this is a legal process.
  • An outcome has been a lease model developed during this process.
  • Birmingham has chosen to do community asset transfer one step at a time, rather than a “big bang” of many buildings at once – and now has the benefits of learning from doing it this way.
  • Valuing worth has many applications – including with worklessness and unemployment.

Key tips:

  • For a local authority: Not a universal panacea. The quirk report was important but “all it did was open up a set of possibilities”.  Temper making this happen to local circumstances. Fit it to local policy and politics.  Birmingham likely to use this as a tool kit, because asset transfer wont always be the right answer.   Let people innovate, especially between strategic staff and community groups.

Valuing Worth and Community Asset Transfer: Tony Rich explains.

Posted on 23rd March 2010 by

Tony Rich of Rich Regeneration

What is meant by valuing worth?  It is a process and tool developed by Birmingham City Council as part of this programme.

Tony Rich – a consultant who runs Rich Regeneration – was brought in to do some work on Measuring the Social Value and Impact of Asset Transfer. He has also written this Guide to Managing Risks in Asset transfer for Communities and Local Government for the Department of Communities and Local Government. He was asked  to research  possible risks and mitigation measures and, based on regional consultation events with local authorities and people from the third sector. You can download a pdf of that report by clicking here.

We managed to speak to Tony at the event run on march 23rd to spread learning from the Community Asset transfer programme in Birmingham.  You can listen to his thoughts on how to measure social value below:

[podcast]http://communityasset.podnosh.com/files/2010/04/Tonyrichassettransfer.mp3[/podcast]

He outlines some key advanatges to finding new ways to value the social and economic worth of transferring assets to community groups:

  • Coming up with ways to place a value on what happens help councillors understand why they would support community asset transfer. That encourages more asset transfers.
  • Captures the value of volunteer effort
  • Can be offset against the price of a piece of land – so justifying discount of a market rent.
  • Encourages community groups to think about the value they give to their community and what extra value they can get from having a building.  It gives people new tools to telling the story of the benefit they bring.

The end result can be a figure for the social value of the building being used more intensively.

Tony’s advice was:

  • To a council officer this work is about going out and making partnerships with community groups.  It can’t be done from a desk. The building transfer is just the start, not the end.
  • Community groups have to understand they can’t take for granted they are doing good work. They have to be able to make their case and demonstrate it in ways that different audiences understand.

Tony gave this presentation which fleshes out the detail:

All thought provoking, please feel free to comment.