North East Lincolnshire Council

Localism

The Localism Act aims to transfer power from central government and hand it back to local authorities and communities – giving them the freedom and flexibility to achieve their own ambitions.

For more information read the Government’s Plain English guide to the Localism Act. Different parts of the Act will come into effect at different times.

Main measures included within the Localism Act

The five key measures included within the Act cover community rights, neighbourhood planning, housing, empowering cities and other local areas and the general power of competence.

The main measures of the Localism Act fall within four headings:

  • New freedoms and flexibilities for local government
  • New rights and powers for communities and individuals
  • Reform to make the planning system more democratic and more effective
  • Reform to ensure that decisions about housing are taken locally

The Localism Act has introduced new rights and powers for communities and individuals.

Community right to bid

The Right to Bid came into force on 21 September 2012. Its purpose is to give communities a right to identify a property that is believed to be of social or community value and gives them a fair chance to make a bid to buy the property on the open market if the property owner decides to sell. Currently only eligible community groups, local parish councils or local neighbourhood planning forums and charities can nominate.

Once we have received the completed form, we will consider and check the eligibility of the nomination and if we feel the property does have community value it will be added to the ‘List of Assets of Community Value’. Assets will remain on the list for five years and a land charge will be registered against the property. We aim to assess nominations within eight weeks of receipt.

You will be advised that the property has been listed and the date in five years’ time when it will be removed. When the five years have expired you can submit a new nomination.

If we decide to list a property, the property owner can ask for a review and there will be a process for an appeal to an independent body. Further guidance will be provided in a letter to the property owner.

We will notify the nominee should the nomination be ineligible and provide an explanation as to why it was unsuccessful. In such circumstances the property will be added to the list of ‘Land Nominated by Unsuccessful Community Nominations’ and will remain on the list for five years.

Nominees are not able to appeal the decision made in respect of the property however, a complaint can be made, if you feel we have not followed the correct procedure, through the council’s complaint procedure.

View our Assets of Community Value Register (PDF).

It is important that your community group is eligible to nominate, you can only do this if you answer yes to the two questions below:

  • Do you have a local connection to the property you are wishing to nominate? and;
  • Are you an unincorporated community group with at least 21 members who are registered to vote in the North East Lincolnshire area, a parish council, charity, industrial & provident society, local neighbourhood forum, company limited by guarantee or community interest company?

To nominate you must inform us of the address of the property, details of the owner, the extent of the site and why you feel it is an asset of community value. You must also provide evidence of your eligibility to nominate.

To assist you we have created a nomination form

Download Community Right to Bid Nomination Form (Word document).

This needs to be returned to the Assets Team (contact details at the bottom of this page). There is no charge for nominating a property for addition to the register, however please note that the council will only consider fully completed application forms. It is up to applicants to find the necessary information required to complete the forms as the council cannot undertake this work for you.

View the Community Right to Bid Guidance (PDF).

You are able to view properties that have been nominated for inclusion on the register by downloading the Assets of Community Value Register (PDF).

Assets which have been successful are listed in ‘Part 1 – Assets Held on the Register’ and properties that have not been successful are shown in ‘Part 2 – List of Assets of Unsuccessful Community Nominations’.

It is important to note that not all groups mentioned under ‘making a nomination’ above are eligible to make a right to bid. All groups can nominate but only unincorporated groups cannot bid as they are unable to legally own property.

The owner of the property must advise us when they intend to sell the property and we will publicise this on our website as well as informing the nominator.

If you want to make a bid you must inform us within six weeks of us telling you the property is available to purchase. You will then have six months to put together the bid. Please note this is not from when you inform us, but six months from when the owner advises us of their intention to sell (this is known as the moratorium period). If there is more than one community group interested in purchasing the property we would encourage the groups to work together.

At any point before the end of the six months you may enter into negotiations with the property owner providing the owner is willing to do this. We would ask that we are kept informed of developments.

At the end of the moratorium period, if you have successfully put a bid together, the owner will have the option to either accept your bid or sell the property freely on the open market.

Community right to challenge

The council has developed an approach to the Community Right to Challenge that seeks to work with those interested in submitting a challenge to get to the heart of the issue. The Localism Act came into force in 2011 and includes the right called Community Right to Challenge. This means we can receive an ‘expression of interest’ about how to run a service.

Expressions of interest may be submitted by the types of organisations listed below:

  • voluntary and community bodies
  • charities
  • a group of two or more employees of the authority
  • Parish councils.

We welcome ideas from groups and organisations where you feel our services can be improved or re-designed to best meet the needs of customers. We must consider all expressions of interest and, where these are accepted, undertake a procurement exercise for the service.

All organisations that are interested in submitting an ‘expression of interest’ are asked to contact Jamie Dunn, contact details at the bottom of the page, to have an informal discussion on how we can improve our service.

If you wish to make a formal expression of interest, then please complete a form and submit it to our Commissioning and Delivery team by email or post.

Download the Community Right to Challenge Expression of Interest Form (Word document) and our Community Right to Challenge Process Map (PDF).

Common reasons for rejection of expressions of interest can be read in the Ten Reasons For Rejection – Community Right to Challenge (PDF) document.

We will make a decision on your expression based upon the information that we ask for in this form and in accordance with the provisions of the Localism Act 2011. We will acknowledge receipt, and within 30 days we will let you know the date by which you will receive a decision on your application. Our decision will be to reject, to ask you to modify, or to accept your expression. If we accept your expression, then we will invite your organisation to compete in an open procurement exercise.

Community Asset Transfer

Community Asset Transfer is a long term leasehold or freehold transfer arrangement entered into by the Council with a community group or social enterprise at market or below market value to stimulate the social, economic or environmental well-being of the people living and working in North East Lincolnshire. We believe that a property that has previously been used for public benefit should be available for community ownership.

Who can apply for Community Asset Transfer?

  • Parish and town councils;
  • Any not for profit organisation with an asset lock built into its constitution including the following:
    • a charity, including charitable incorporated organisations
    • a Community interest company
    • a Community Benefit Society

The Community Asset Transfer approach gives more information on the process and support available to groups. The Community Asset Transfer flowchart shows the process and timeline in more detail.

Community right to bid and Community Asset Transfer

Assets Team, Municipal Offices, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN31 1HU

Email: assets@nelincs.gov.uk

Community right to challenge

Commercial Services, Municipal Offices, Town Hall Square, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN31 1HU

Email: commercialservices@nelincs.gov.uk

Telephone: 01472 323018