Agenda item



Proposed by Councillor Gerry Ellis

Seconded by Councillor Sheila Clarke


(1) Council recognises the excellent work conducted and the value placed on Wirral’s Community Centres and Halls by local residents.


(2) Council notes the current policy of closing any hall or community centre that has not been transferred out of Council ownership by January 2011, is causing, concern and distress to users, residents and those charged with discussing these matters with Council Officers.


(3) Council is particularly disturbed at the concerns expressed by JMC’s about the level of engagement by officers in the process, the delay in receiving full structural surveys, the quality of surveys conducted and the lack of clarity and criteria about any ‘dowry’ to be received.


(4) Council believes that in the light of the recent policy U-turn on the SAR characterised as ‘decisive leadership’ by the administration, the current policy on Halls and Community Centres should be amended to:


(a)  Remove the threat that any Hall or Community Centre not transferred by January 2011 will be closed.


(b)  Ensure Council Officers provide the level of support required to assist those JMC’s who have indicated their ability and willingness to work towards asset transfer


(c)  Ensure accurate full structural surveys are carried out as a matter of urgency at all Halls and Community Centres currently in the Council’s ownership and prior to any transfers




Proposed by Councillor Bob Moon

Seconded by Councillor Stuart Kelly


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(2) The Council re-affirms its commitment to community asset transfer and recognises the potential of asset transfer to help local people turn their aspirations for the community into reality.


(3) This Council is keen to ensure that community organisations can continue to engage in asset transfer, particularly at a time when public sector spending restraint makes it difficult for the council to continue to provide these services itself.


(4) Council notes:

  • The high level of interest being shown in community asset transfer and is encouraged by these positive signs that the energies of local groups and communities are being engaged to own or manage community buildings, bringing people together from different backgrounds to enhance local services.
  • Significant progress being made to transfer assets to the community.


(5) Therefore, Council re-affirms its commitment to:

  • Carry out essential repairs in respect of community centres that are to be transferred.
  • Make provisions, in line with its agreed policy, for funding to help support the transfer process for up to two years whilst the transfer process progresses towards a successful outcome.
  • The provision of financial assistance using the Community Fund to support capacity building, asset repairs and time-limited financial support whilst local community groups become self-sufficient.
  • Help community run organisations to access outside support and funding such as lottery grants, which is not available to council run facilities, to make improvements.


(6) Council requests that quarterly summary reports are brought to Cabinet as part of the overall Change Programme reporting process on the progress made and identifies at the earliest stage those facilities where community asset transfer is unlikely to be achieved by January 2011, setting out options and the risks to delivery.


The amendment was put to the vote and carried (36:25)


Resolved – That the motion, as now amended, be approved.