Community Rights

Is there a community facility near you that you value but worry might be sold one day, and so lost?

Business has been thriving at the Dolphin Pub in Bishampton, since it reopened earlier this month. The pub’s success is thanks to the parish council – who had already bought the local shop and now own the pub as well, writes Peter Luff MP.

When the pub went up for sale, the council put in a successful bid for it on the open market. But, they were very fortunate. Often local groups don’t have enough time to prepare a bid or raise the money to buy their local amenities when they go on the market. So, the Government has introduced new powers to give communities a better chance of buying their local assets.

‘Community Right to Bid’ is one of four community powers, which hands back power to local people. A town or parish council or a community group can identify assets or facilities in their area that play a vital role in local life. These could include community centres, libraries, village shops or pubs. Once an asset has been identified and registered, if a local facility is then threatened with sale, the community is given more time to prepare their plans and funds to bid for it.

This is a really powerful tool for local communities. It would be great if all town and parish councils and local community groups got the public assets in their area registered. Creating this list of assets vital to local life will help to protect them.

The other powers give communities the right to build facilities they need, to take over local services and to develop community plans. They are about giving power back to local people and I hope communities will take advantage of the power that is now in their hands.


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