The Community Right to Bid, created in the Localism Act, came into force on the 21 September. The new right allows people to express an interest in acquiring property, such as buildings or land for the benefit of their community should they come up for sale.
The Community Right to Bid, created in the historic Localism Act, which has recently come into force across the country so communities can 'stop-the clock' on the sale of valuable local assets and amenities like post offices, village shops or community pubs, giving them time to put in a takeover bid of their own and protect it for the wider community's benefit.
The new right gives voluntary and community organisations and parish councils the opportunity to nominate an asset to be included on a list of 'assets of community value', pausing the sale of a successfully listed asset for six-months, giving communities the time to prepare a bid and get a business plan together. Previously the community had no opportunity or time to gather resources to bid to buy or take them over.
Communities are already showing their determination and appetite to get involved in saving and running local facilities and amenities and over 500 people are looking into using the Right to Bid in their community.
In Norden, local people formed a Trust to buy and refurbish the historic old library building and reopen it as a community facility. The group purchased the lease form the Local authority and since then the building has been transformed into a modern community hub and a doctor’s surgery.
In Cranleigh, the community is already planning to use the Community Right to Bid to return the first village hospital in the community back into the hands of the local people to provide support to the elderly in the community and ensure that the long history of the building as a community facility can continue.
The Community Right to Bid, is just one of the Community Rights measures brought in by the Localism Act. In June, the Government announced a £30million package of specialist support to help communities take advantage of their new rights.
Further information can be found on the following websites:
· A plain English guide to the Localism Act is available at: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/localismplainenglishupdate.
· A Community Rights website has been launched to give people more information about the new powers and opportunities available to them. The website will continue to grow and expand as more of the Rights come into force. The site can be viewed here: www.communityrights.communities.gov.uk
· Practical help and guidance for those wishing to use the Community Right to Challenge is also available on the My Community Rights website. The site can be viewed here: mycommunityrights.org.uk/community-right-to-challenge/