(Title Image: via Google Earth)
As you probably already know, Community Asset Transfer (CAT) is a BCBC policy to transfer community facilities like sports pitches and community centres to town & community councils and other interested local groups.
BCBC hopes the process will save the council just under £440,000 a year by the end of the 2020-21 financial year. So far, ten CAT projects have been approved, with match funding of £230,000 provided by BCBC.
As the moment, there are several hoops for interested parties to jump through to complete the CAT process. A report to be discussed by BCBC’s Cabinet next week (pdf), acknowledges that the preparation of detailed business plans with five-year projections is “time-consuming and costly” – even if it’s necessary for community groups and alike to demonstrate they can run a CAT facility effectively.
Following a review of the CAT process, several changes are proposed including:
- A list of assets available for CAT should be maintained and periodically reviewed (pdf).
- Interested parties should be provided with data on the condition of an asset and its running costs promptly.
- Detailed business plans should only be required for “complex” and “risky” CAT projects, though a 5-year income and expenditure projection should remain for the majority of applications.
Town & Community Councils and other established community groups (though there’s no definition of this) should have their CAT applications “fast-tracked” where an asset is deemed to be in good condition.