Saba Salman of the The Guardian Voluntary Sector network was attracted to write about Birmingham and it’s community asset tranfer work after finding the warts and all case studies on this website. In a piece she called Making community asset transfer work, she wrote:
The benefits of transfer are clear – community empowerment for local people and asset disposal for the council – but how do you overcome the hurdles?
In Birmingham, the council built on its involvement in the government pilot, recently agreeing a new protocol outlining a consistent path to transfer, from initial expressions of interest to the point of handing property or land.
Karen Cheney, co-ordinator of the council’s community asset transfer development programme, believes clarity is key. “Every local authority has to be very clear as to what community asset transfer means to them.” Councils can dispose off assets at preferential rates in various ways including freehold, a long lease, a shorter lease or a licence to occupy. In Birmingham it involves transferring leasehold, because “that’s protecting both sides – if it is freehold it’s gone and if it goes wrong, retrieving the situation is more costly”. Birmingham’s transfer website is clear, packed with information and avoids any overt council branding.
She also spoke to Masood Yasin of comm:pact about how he organised the transfer of Hutton Hall – which is also covered on this site.