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Flintshire’s communities show a positive interest in taking on local assets

Published: 17/12/2014

Flintshire County Council has seen a positive response from local communities to its community asset transfer scheme. The scheme was relaunched at the beginning of November. Twenty proposals for over 40 assets have already been agreed to proceed to the next stage, following the first deadline for expressions of interest. The next stage is to produce a business case and is expected to take around six months. The assets include playing fields, play areas, community centres, youth centres, allotments, sports grounds, pavilions, and libraries, with expressions of interest being received from Town and Community Councils, community organisations and individuals. As well as the formal expressions of interest, 47 informal enquiries have also been received, relating to 195 assets which cover 21 Town and Community Council areas. Cllr Aaron Shotton, Leader of the Council, said: “This is a very positive response from our communities. It demonstrates our belief that, even in the face of an unprecedented budget situation, we can engage with local communities to find solutions around how local services and assets can be sustained for the future.” Cllr Bernie Attridge, Deputy Leader, and the portfolio holder for the scheme, said: “We are delighted with the response from our local communities. We will now be working with these organisations to support them in developing their business cases. We have always been clear that the initial expression of interest does not commit the applicant or the Council to a transfer but it now allows a more detailed discussion, with the right support to help applicants. This support will include relevant documents and information relating to the asset as well as legal, governance, finance and business planning support, which will be co-ordinated by Flintshire Local Voluntary Council (FLVC). Ann Woods, Chief Officer for FLVC, said: “We have been working with the Council since the relaunch of the scheme and are now ready to provide a tailored support package for organisations, through our staff team and by signposting them to specialist partner organisations. Each town and community council has a list of community assets in their local area that, due to the financial situation, are potentially at risk in the long term. Organisations who still wish to express an interest are being encouraged to get in touch, as expressions of interest are considered on a monthly basis. Panels will take place every three months to consider business case proposals. For further information contact Ian Bancroft or Neal Cockerton on 01352 704511.