Community Asset Transfer (Stage 1)
Decision Maker: Tourism, Communities, Culture & Leisure Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
This report seeks a decision in relation to the surplus assets that Members put into the Community Asset Transfer (CAT) process as part of the 2022/23 Budget. This report needs to be considered in the context of the Facilities Investment Plan and the consultation outcome reports which appear elsewhere on this Committee agenda.
This report also advises of unsolicited enquiries / expressions of interest, which were received during the CAT process for assets not currently in-scope and recommends a way of dealing with these matters for members decision.
The Wirral Plan 2021-2026 sets out the Council’s vision to secure the best possible future for our residents, defined by the community prosperity we create and supported by our excellent people and services.
This proposal directly supports the following key themes within that plan
- Safe, vibrant communities where people want to live and raise their families
- A prosperous inclusive economy where local people can get good jobs and achieve their aspirations.
This matter has the potential to affect all wards.
This is a Key Decision
Resolved – That,
(1) the Expression of Interest for the libraries at Hoylake, Irby, Pensby, Prenton, Wallasey Village, Higher Bebington and Woodchurch (as set out in paragraph 3.7 of this report) be taken forward to the business planning stage (Stage 2) of the Community Asset Transfer process.
(2) For Bromborough and New Ferry Libraries, the approaches set out in this report at paragraph 3.9 be progressed.
(3) The Expressions of Interest from the Woodchurch Wellbeing and Wellness Centre and Helen Diamond Swim and Leisure Limited, for Woodchurch Leisure Centre, be taken forward to the business planning stage (stage 2) of the CAT process for the reasons set out in paragraph 3.10
(4) The Expressions of interest from Special Ventures Partnership and Love Golf MCR for Brackenwood Golf Course be taken forward to the business planning stage (stage 2)
(5) The Expression of interest from The Royal Liverpool Golf Club and Royal and Ancient for Hoylake Municipal Golf Course be taken forward to stage 2 of the Community Asset Transfer process.
(6) the assets listed in Appendix 1 of this report be referred to the appropriate Policy and Service Committee for a decision
(7) The Tourism, Communities, Culture and Leisure Committee recommends that the Economy Regeneration and Housing Committee requests that officers consider re-opening the Community Asset Transfer process in relation to Bromborough Civic Centre and consider expressions of interest in relation to the overall building before considering any other options.
Reasons for the decision:
As part of the budget process for 2022/23, Council agreed subject to the outcome of the public consultation that the assets selected for CAT would close. To enable an opportunity for the community to take over the running of the assets, Council agreed that the assets in scope for 2022/23 would be subject to a CAT process.
This report enables decisions to be made about the surplus assets that are currently in-scope for CAT.
Alternative options considered:
The assets in this report were put into the CAT process by Members as part of the 2022/23 Budget, subject to the consideration of the outcome of various consultations, which are reported elsewhere on this agenda.
Doing nothing is not an option because the 2022/23 Budget has now been set and initial decisions taken, subject to consultation and decision by this Committee in the consultation report. If no action is taken the Council will have to find additional budget from other services to maintain these assets.
Disposal of the assets is an option. Woodchurch Leisure Centre, Brackenwood Golf Course and Hoylake Municipal are in the Green Belt, (which restricts development) and they have a limited value. The libraries have a range of values (set out in the table later in this report) .
While these assets could be sold, it is recommended that CAT should be considered first as there may be opportunities for significant community benefits which outweigh the financial benefits of closure and sale of surplus assets. It is, on balance, considered to be premature to reach a decision on an asset before possibly viable and beneficial business plans are prepared although this could mean that voluntary bodies incur time and expense in drawing up plans that are not accepted by the relevant committee. This is a risk they will have to take if they wish to proceed to the business planning stage.
If at the conclusion of stage 2 of the CAT process any assets are not agreed for transfer they can then be sold.
Publication date: 20/06/2022
Date of decision: 16/06/2022
Decided at meeting: 16/06/2022 - Tourism, Communities, Culture & Leisure Committee
Effective from: 24/06/2022