Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 25th October 2007
Title of Item/Report
Community Assets Fund and the Transfer of Community Buildings
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report relating to the community assets fund and the transfer of community buildings. It was explained that in the context of the Government's White Paper entitled ‘Strong & Prosperous Communities" (October 2006) which was anticipated would be incorporated into a Local Government Bill, much emphasis was placed on strengthening and empowering communities. One of the perceived ways of achieving this was via the use of community buildings and Local Authorities were required to consider the current use of these assets and whether their transfer would add value to the third sector.

Members were advised that to support this agenda the Government had made available a capital resource of some 30 million nationally, administered by the Big Lottery Fund and available to partnerships between Local Authorities and the third sector. This funding was directed towards assets which required significant capital funding and was not available for revenue uses. Once buildings were refurbished they would be transferred to third sector ownership for the benefit of the whole community. It was explained that the timescales for submission of outline bids was very short, with a closure date of 15th November 2007 and the criteria was very prescriptive and exacting. It was noted that a maximum of two bids per authority could be submitted. Members were asked to approve a process of assessing and determining appropriate bids.

RESOLVED that-

1. The principles of the Community Assets Fund be supported. Suitable applications, which meet the internal criteria, be progressed to submission to the Community Assets Fund. As per the Lottery criteria a maximum of two bids can be submitted.

2. The award of a long lease to the successful bidders, subject to negotiations, but likely to be in the order of 25 years on a peppercorn rent be agreed.

3 the decision to determine the most robust bids and those which provides the greatest community benefit from those submitted be delegated to the Head of Housing, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Transport.

4. Any building/s transferred from the Local Authority to the third sector becomes the repairing responsibility of that third sector partner.
Reasons for the Decision
To take advantage of the funding available from the Community Assets Fund.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None
Details of any Dispensations
No
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
By no later than midnight on Friday 2nd November 2007
Attachment

Date of Publication: 29 October 2007


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