Insert main title here New Ways of Working East of England LGA May 2011 Martyn Allison National Advisor Culture & Sport LGID Martyn.Allison@Local.gov.uk
Are new ways of working really new? • Contracting out • Social enterprises & trusts • Grant aiding • Volunteering The difference now is the need to build sustainability that is not dependent on on-going public funding.
The challenges to creating a sustainable future • Being more business like • Getting to grips with commissioning • Developing the capacity to succeed • Brokerage • Transferring assets
Asset transfer: the benefits • Taking ownership can enable community organisations to :- • extend the range of services they offer to residents • lead to new local facilities and services • provide a community hub to facilitate interaction and enhance community involvement • open up new revenue streams. that are more independent, resilient and sustainable • protect locally valued buildings and places so promoting a ‘feel good factor’ and triggering private investment and local regeneration.
The Localism Bill- Community Right to Buy What is the problem under consideration? Why is government intervention necessary? “People value their local facilities; however in many local areas these have been closing down, leaving towns and villages without vital amenities such as local shops, pubs, libraries and leisure centres. Community groups that want to take over these and run these and other local assets or transform them into new uses, find that they lack the time and resources to prepare to buy them and cannot compete against other bidders, often losing those amenities permanently. Government intervention will give communities the time to bid to buy and manage these assets. This will enhance the sustainability and local independence of those communities, as they are able to use more viable business models unavailable to private or public sector owners or operators. These new opportunities will encourage culture change in communities which take on these assets, contributing to long term behavioural change where individuals take increasing responsibilities within their own communities.”
Asset transfer- getting it right • Embrace the asset transfer concept at a senior level in the council. • Establish a comprehensive overview of all council assets and identify which assets might be transferable in terms of local priorities. • Take a strategic approach to rationalising asset portfolios in a way that ensures long-term viability and social benefit. • Prepare a council approach to asset transfer that sets out how the local authority will handle potential transfers.
Asset transfer- getting it right • Involve the community (existing and potential service users) throughout to build trusting relationships Successful asset transfers tend to be underpinned by a genuine commitment to partnership between the council and the community.
Pitfalls and concerns • Potential, perceived liabilities or the imposition of conditions that are seen by one of the organisations as being unreasonable which need to be addressed by balancing the risks. • The long-term loss of public facilities which can be addressed by including an ‘asset lock’ in the transfer agreement.
Creating the right legal structures • There are a range of organisational structures to provide legal entities through which community organisations can own and manage local assets. • The challenge is finding the right approach for local circumstances.
Roles for elected members in asset transfer • Setting the policy and direction • Balancing community engagement and council risk • Scrutinising the process • Evaluating the impact on local need and outcomes