Bridgend County Borough Council Gives Update on Progress of Community Asset Transfer Programme

The Town & Community Council Forum of Bridgend County Borough Council met last week to discuss a report outlining the progress of the Community Asset Transfer programme.

The report provided an outline of the changes to Bridgend County Borough Council’s Community Asset Transfer (CAT) policy and the support and opportunities currently available to town & community councils to help to facilitate the smooth transition of public sector assets to their local communities.

It also outlined how town and community councils, sports clubs and community groups can have an involvement in the development of collaborative working opportunities to ensure the long-term sustainability for future generations.

So far, a total of eight sports pavilions and/or playing fields have been completed at seven separate locations. These transfers will be subject to long-term self-management arrangements with community groups in respect of playing fields and pavilions previously managed by the Parks Department.

Preliminary agreements are also presently being issued to sports clubs and town and community councils after they expressed an interest in taking over the day-to-day responsibility of their pitch maintenance while long term leases are being finalised.

The report further emphasised the local authority’s wishes to continue to work in partnership with town and community councils in encouraging them to consider entering into more discussions relating to the asset transfer of playing fields, pavilions, play areas and community centres.

The local authority has already invested capital funding totalling £455,649 to enable buildings such as sports pavilions and community centres to be refurbished, pitch and drainage improvements to be undertaken, and pitch maintenance equipment to be purchased by community groups following the transfer or self-management of assets.

Deputy Leader, Cllr Hywel Williams, Chair of the CAT Task and Finish Group, said: “I am heartened to see the enthusiastic response to the CAT scheme from so many community bodies.

“It is pleasing to note that the council has made significant investment in local facilities so that they can be safeguarded for future generations, and it is the intention of the local authority to continue this trend in the future.

“The success of the scheme is a validation of the approach and we hope to give more communities the opportunity to take control of their respective amenities, should they wish to do so”.