To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what complaints system is in place for his Department to investigate claims that local authorities are not applying the Assets of Community Value (ACV) provisions consistently or in line with the (a) Localism Act 2011, (b) 2012 ACV guidance and (c) the results of First Tier Tribunal decisions.
24 March 2022
Local authorities are responsible for ensuring that their Assets of Community Value scheme is run in accordance with the legislation set out in Part 3 Chapter 5 of the Localism Act 2011 and the Assets of Community Regulations 2012.
Under the existing scheme a community nomination rejected by a council would not be able to appeal the council’s decision. The department does not collect information on complaints raised with the Social Care Ombudsman by community groups about unsuccessful Assets of Community Value nominations or the outcomes of these decision. The department also does not provide guidance to the Social Care on the Assets of Community Value scheme.
The right of appeal against a council decision is only available to the owner of the asset. The right of independent appeal to a Tribunal ensures fairness to landowners and ensures that a council decision may be subject to impartial scrutiny.
As part of the Strategy for Community Spaces and Relationships, announced in the Levelling Up White Paper, the UK Government will consider how the existing Assets of Community Value Scheme can be enhanced and consult on options to go further to support community ownership.