Approach minister over community asset transfer, charities told

The chair of the government's review into the transfer of public assets to community groups has said that third sector organisations should appeal to the Minister for Communities if a local authority persists in holding on to underused buildings.

Speaking ahead of an Adventure Capital Fund masterclass on methods of community asset transfer, Barry Quirk, chief executive of Lewisham Council told Third Sector Online that charities that were unhappy with their local council could seek redress at state level.

“My view is that the case has to be argued at a local level with the local authority,” Quirk said. “But if its felt by a charity that there’s an asset that’s being underused and they have approached that local authority and it hasn’t worked, then they should make a representation to the secretary of state.”

Quirk added that the newly-appointed Minister for Communities, Hazel Blears, had already expressed a “keen personal interest” in the assets agenda. Blears will replace outgoing Communities Minister Ruth Kelly.

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