THURROCK Council is to compile a list of ‘assets of community value’, after a Conservative motion was passed with cross-party support.
The initiative takes advantage of new rules under the Localism Act, which allows communities to nominate ‘assets of community value’ which they believe require protection from sale or development. The ‘assets’ can be anything that local people consider to be of importance, and could range from community halls, leisure centres and churches to a village store or even a pub.
The motion was proposed by Conservative leader Cllr Phil Anderson, and supported by Labour cabinet member for Communities Cllr Lynn Worrall. Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Anderson said:
“These new rules give local communities a legal right to bid for community facilities if they come up for sale or redevelopment. We’ve already seen several community facilities lost to Thurrock in exactly this way, so we know it’s a real problem. But the protection only works if these ‘community assets’ have been identified in advance.
We now have a clear commitment to work with local community groups to get a comprehensive list drawn up in Thurrock. This will also send a clear message to property developers about which sites local people want to protect and which they are willing to see redeveloped. I am pleased that this went through with cross-party support, and we look forwards to working alongside others to help get the list identified.”