Conveyancing process works to do the property transaction process

One letter from Can to Mr Parry-Jones also suggested that they combine forces to deliver both the leisure centre and the Asylum project in an integrated scheme, ‘to pioneer the development of an engine for social and economic change in the region’. Local authorities will be free to transfer land and buildings to community enterprises at below market value without seeking ministerial approval, under plans being drawn up by John Prescott’s department. The deputy prime minister’s office is looking at ways to simplify the procedures for local authorities wanting to transfer assets into community ownership, which is fast becoming recognised in government circles as a key tool in promoting neighbourhood renewal. Officials are redrafting guidelines which state the circumstances under which assets can be transferred at below ‘best consideration’ – the most money – without government consent.

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A new exemption is expected to be made for social and community enterprises that can demonstrate the wider social benefits of local ownership of public facilities, such as office space or community centres. Under current rules, local authorities must apply to the deputy prime minister for permission to sell public assets at below market value.

But organisations including the Local Government Association and the Development Trusts Association are concerned that this is freezing out community groups that want to take over council-owned facilities. Under a provision in the Local Government Act 2000, primary legislation will not be needed to change the rules. This has been a disincentive for local authorities because legally there is not a clear steer on what consent is required. For the more cautiously run local authorities this would probably mean they would not want to do it. At last government is starting to cut through the red tape that has so often thwarted community-led enterprise.

The research into three initiatives in Birmingham led the authors to propose community land trusts – which would own, develop and manage land and property – as a vehicle to deliver renewal and neighbourhood management. Convicted criminals could soon be asked to pay a portion of their prison wages into a fund to finance their rehabilitation in the community once released. The proposal forms part of the Social Exclusion Unit’s long-awaited report on re-offending, published this week.  Detailed info here: E Settlement Agents Perth