The Localism Act 2011, requires Councils to keep a register of Community Assets. However, to date the Council has not published details of how to register, says that there are currently no registered assets in Enfield and has no knowledge of any potential nominations. Community groups can nominate assets of community value that they believe should be registered. They can be both buildings and land including community centres, libraries, swimming pools and pubs.
David Burrowes said, “This is a great scheme that empowers local communities to be able to not only put on an official register that an asset is of value to our community, but also to be able to have the opportunity to protect local amenities and maintain them as valuable local resources.
“For the first time, local communities have a real opportunity to take control of local facilities and I call on community groups in Enfield Southgate to register community assets. Enfield Council has not publicised this scheme and they really should do more to promote this and encourage the community to register assets. Otherwise, the suspicion is that Enfield Council want to hide the scheme for fear that it will make it harder to sell off community assets. We need to use this new localism power to stop our valued community buildings being sold off on the quiet."
The scheme is designed to give communities the opportunity to take control of assets and facilities in their community providing time for them to prepare a proposal. When a registered asset comes up for sale, the community groups have a right to bid for the registered asset. This means that if a local registered library, for example were to be put up for sale, a community group could put a bid in to keep it open and they would have six months to put a proposal together, at the same time stopping the Council from selling off local amenities quickly on the quiet.
David added, “I am concerned that implementation procedures for a scheme that came into operation in 2012 and one that will benefit local residents has yet to be decided by the Council. By the time a decision is made, it will be over 18 months since the scheme was started. This is unacceptable and residents will be wondering why the Labour Council has dithered and delayed on this matter.”