The Community Right to Bid is now a legal power for communities to use after gaining approval recently. Communities Minister Don Foster legally authorised new powers for communities to help prevent the rapid sell off of treasured community assets and buildings so they can be protected.
The Community Right to Bid, created in the historic Localism Act in September across the country so communities can ‘stop-the clock’ on the sale of valuable local assets and amenities like post offices, village shops or community pubs, giving them time to put in a takeover bid of their own and protect it for the wider community’s benefit.
The new right gives voluntary and community organisations and parish councils the opportunity to nominate an asset to be included on a list of ‘assets of community value’, pausing the sale of a successfully listed asset for six-months, giving communities the time to prepare a bid and get a business plan together. Previously the community had no opportunity or time to gather resources to bid to buy or take them over.
It means that:
• Communities can apply to get a range of local assets registered as ‘assets of community value’
• If a registered asset of community value goes up for sale, legally communities will have 6 weeks to express an interest in taking on the asset and fulfilling some of the criteria
• If approved they will have a total of 6 months during which the asset cannot be sold to anyone, while communities develop plans and raise finance
• At the end of the six month ‘protected period’ the asset owner can then sell to whomever they like – this does not mean that communities can force a sale
• Although it will not make the process easier for all communities in all instances, it should certainly significantly help some communities.
The official press release from the Department for Communities and Local Government can be here.
For more information about what these powers could mean for your community visit my community rights.