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COMA and Shared Assets Live Chat 29 October – Green Spaces

Home The Just Act Forum Ask a question… COMA and Shared Assets Live Chat 29 October – Green Spaces

This topic contains 24 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of kateswade kateswade 2 years ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
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  • #11635
    Profile photo of Gemma
    Gemma
    Member

    Hi Everyone

    Just to let you know that on Thursday October 29 at 1pm there will be a live chat here in this thread with the Community Ownership and Management of Assets team and Kate Swade from Shared Assets, which will be focusing on green spaces.

    Kate will be on hand to answer any questions you have and to share her knowledge and advice, so if there is anything you’d like help with, or to know more about, then make sure you’re here with your questions! And if you’re unable to join us on the day, leave your question here and we’ll make sure it gets answered during the chat.

    Just a reminder that you’ll need to have registered an account to post anything, which you can do quickly by clicking the link at the top left of this page.

    Gemma

    #11636
    Profile photo of Chris
    Chris
    Participant

    **Gemma**

    Hi Gemma.

    NALC encourages all COMA parish councils to take part in this exciting COMA live web chat.

    Thanks,

    Chris (NALC)

    #11637
    Profile photo of keith
    keith
    Participant

    Kate’s supporting our COMA project, I agree with NALC if you’re not already benefiting from support take part.

    #11638
    Profile photo of kateswade
    kateswade
    Participant

    Thanks Keith! looking forward to it…

    #11702
    Profile photo of Gemma
    Gemma
    Member

    Hi Everyone,

    Looking forward to todays live chat – should be really interesting!

    Just a quick reminder for anyone wanting to join in, you’ll need to register for an account to post a question. It only takes a minute, just click register at the top of the page to sign up.

    If you’re following the chat, remember to tick the box at the bottom of the thread to be notified by email of new posts, this way you won’t need to refresh the forum and you’ll keep up in real time.

    Enjoy the chat! Any problems with the site, email communications@cdf.org.uk
    If you need to change your password you can do it on the log in page by clicking forgotten password.

    Gemma

    #11703
    Profile photo of kateswade
    kateswade
    Participant

    Hi everybody!

    Really looking forward to this chat and your questions. A little bit of introduction:

    Shared Assets is a think and do tank that specialises in the development of new business and governance models for parks, woodlands, waterways, green spaces and coastal areas. We are supporting the COMA programme by managing 5 different green space projects, and providing consultancy to more.

    This is a really exciting – and difficult – area. We’re committed to finding new ways of making land work for the common good, and I’m really looking forward to your questions!

    Kate

    #11704

    Hi Everyone,

    Welcome to the ‘live Q&A’ we are running this lunchtime with Kate Swade, our Green Spaces expert from Shared Assets.

    While everyone’s logging in, I thought I’d start the thread by a quick introduction. My name’s Kobie and I work in the Community Assets team at Locality, and we run the Community Ownership and Management of Assets programme with our partners.

    On the programme we have 51 projects working with extensive partnerships to investigate the possibility of community ownership or management of a number of assets. Green space is an important theme, which many of the projects are focussing on.

    Lots of questions have arisen, so we’d be interested to hear from you. Please do post your questions for Kate!

    #11705

    Hi Kate,

    Looking forward to this session, and learning more about Green Space.

    While people are logging in, can you tell us why parks and green spaces are suddenly on the Community Ownership & Management of Assets agenda?

    #11706
    Profile photo of Charlene
    Charlene
    Participant

    Hi all

    Charlene here from the East Midlands.

    I would like to know what the main differences between asset transfer of buildings and of parks?

    thanks

    Charlene

    #11707
    Profile photo of kateswade
    kateswade
    Participant

    Thanks Kobie!

    We are definitely seeing more local authorities look at different models for managing their parks and green spaces. This is partly because of cuts to local authority budgets in general – which won’t be news to anyone.

    What might surprise people though is that parks are not a “statutory service” like social care, so LAs are more free to cut or change services. We know from the recent “State of UK Parks” report that 86% of parks managers had seen budget cuts, and almost half of councils are looking at either selling or outsourcing the management of some of their parks.

    So authorities are looking for new approaches – and often turning to the community or not-for-profit sector for solutions.

    #11708

    Thanks Kobie!

    We are definitely seeing more local authorities look at different models for managing their parks and green spaces. This is partly because of cuts to local authority budgets in general – which won’t be news to anyone.

    What might surprise people though is that parks are not a “statutory service” like social care, so LAs are more free to cut or change services. We know from the recent “State of UK Parks” report that 86% of parks managers had seen budget cuts, and almost half of councils are looking at either selling or outsourcing the management of some of their parks.

    So authorities are looking for new approaches – and often turning to the community or not-for-profit sector for solutions.

    That’s quite sad, parks and green spaces are really valuable in the community and their use can provide so many benefits. Are there some good examples of new approaches/different ways which the community or not-for-profit sector have created solutions?

    #11709
    Profile photo of kateswade
    kateswade
    Participant

    Hi Charlene,

    good question 🙂

    One of the things we often talk about is that buildings and parks are quite different – and the logic used to support the asset transfer of buildings doesn’t necessarily apply to parks and green spaces.

    One of the reasons we’re called “Shared Assets” is a recognition that it is the use of and access to these spaces which is often more important than the actual ownership of them. The council often – rightly – wants to retain ownership of its parks but transfer the management of them: and that management can come with significant liabilities, like the need for public liability insurance. So we would often start from the point of view that the kind of leases and legal agreements that are used in the transfer of buildings may not be appropriate, and that a more shared approach, between the community and the landowner, could work better.

    A main difference is that it can be much easier to make money from buildings: whether through workspace, events, cafes etc. You can also control who comes into your building and have more easily enforceable codes of conduct and behaviour.

    Parks are a resource that are open to all, and mean many different things to different people. The business models needed to manage parks outside of the public sector are likely to be different: you can’t charge people entry, you can’t fence of parts of the park as office space (or, at least, that would be more challenging!). Conflict is inherent in public space, with many different users using parks for different things and at different times, and managing that conflict can take resources and time.

    So you may need to look at things like acquiring other assets to support the running of a park, having enough of a critical mass of space to be able to offer things like grounds maintenance services to others, being very tight about concessions and sports and fitness activities in parks.

    Does anyone else have thoughts on how green spaces and buildings are different from a community ownership point of view?

    Hi all

    Charlene here from the East Midlands.

    I would like to know what the main differences between asset transfer of buildings and of parks?

    thanks

    Charlene

    #11710
    Profile photo of Peter
    Peter
    Participant

    A very specific question. I am RM for Totnes and there has been concern expressed by groups potentially interested in taking on open spaces, that they wish the District Council to retain responsibility for Public Liability insurance because of the potential costs to groups. Does liability for PL insurance costs transfer with the ownership/management, or is that something that has been accommodated elsewhere?

    #11711
    Profile photo of Maj
    Maj
    Participant

    Hi Kate,

    Maj here from Locality working on the Community Assets programme.

    Are there any good, interesting, complex examples of community management of open spaces? would love to study one and take back some learning.

    thanks

    #11712
    Profile photo of kateswade
    kateswade
    Participant

    Yes there are some great examples!

    We created a microsite with case study films profiling community enterprises that are “making land work” in different ways – http://www.makinglandwork.co.uk – but parks are often a real challenge as it can be very hard to generate an income from them.

    Some great examples, though, include

    Heeley Development Trust, who run a fabulous park in Sheffield http://www.heeleypeoplespark.org

    Bankside Open Spaces Trust, who run a number of different parks in London http://www.bost.org.uk

    Twinkle Park Trust in Greenwich http://twinklepark.org.uk

    The Parks Trust in Milton Keynes, which has a substantial endowment of commercial property to fund the upkeep of the parks: http://www.theparkstrust.com

    Wimbledon & Putney Commons, which are funded by a levy on the council tax of local residents: http://www.wpcc.org.uk

    But these are often fairly special cases – and may often have external funding. One of the big challenges is going to be finding ways of supporting the valuable neighbourhood parks that people rely on but that may have very limited ways of raising money.

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