Ailbhe McNabola, Deputy Chief Executive Officer said:
Community ownership is important for community business. Owning an asset gives communities more control over the spaces in their local area and can help to build the financial self-sufficiency and sustainability of community business. The proposals put forward by the Community Ownership Commission are concrete and realistic proposals for ensuring that resources are available to support community ownership in all parts of England. We are pleased the commission has taken on board many of the recommendations we and community businesses made.
A combination of powers and resources are needed for more communities across England to own the assets that they care about. That is why Power to Change have championed a Community Right to Buy so that communities have the power to take ownership of the assets that matter to them. Labour’s support for this policy shows a seriousness towards ensuring those with skin in the game have a say over the spaces in their local area.
It is also why we welcome the proposals by the Community Ownership Commission to ensure resources are available to support community ownership. The changes to the Community Ownership Fund the report recommends would help ensure that it is not just the better off who can take advantage of new powers. Alongside this, moving to a placed-based funding model is crucial for ensuring funding is distributed effectively and fairly. A strengthened role for local authorities is key, as is a seat at the table for communities. The Report’s proposals for a genuine partnership between local government and communities would represent a much-needed evolution in this relationship. This placed-based funding model would also help ensure public money is able to crowd in other sources of finance to support community ownership, including private capital, which will be vital in a tight fiscal environment. This is a question on which Power to Change have lots of evidence and experience which we are ready to feed in as this policy agenda develops.