Local Facilities Continue to be Transferred to Communities

Dumfries and Galloway Councillors next week will be told that communities are continuing to take ownership of local facilities right across the region. Members of the Council’s Communities committee will hear that good progress is being made in implementing the Community Facilities Review.

Our Council has demonstrated its commitment to work with communities in respect to running facilities across the region with a particular focus on meeting the needs of local communities. The Community Empowerment Act drives communities and our Council alike to work together to keep our communities thriving and maintain local facilities.

In May 2016, Councillors at the Communities committee agreed that as part of the agreed budget options, 33 properties should be transferred to community management or ownership. They agreed that this should be done in two tranches – in 2017/18 and 2018/19.

At the committee meeting next week, Councillors will be provided with a progress update on how the rollout is being achieved.

The target for 2017/18 was for 16 facilities from across Dumfries and Galloway to have been transferred to the new arrangements. Councillors will be told next week that all 16 properties have been transferred into either the Management of Ownership of their community. As of April 2018, the agreed budget savings of £24,698 will be achieved in full for these 16 properties.

The target for 2018/19 is to either transfer or update the current leases for an additional eight properties. Councillors will be updated on the positive progress that has been made liaising with local communities in this regard although Councillors will be asked to agree revised budget costs associated with some of the properties.
An update on the final nine properties being targeted through the Community Services Review for 2019/20 will also be provided to Councillors at the meeting.

Chair of the Communities committee, Andy Ferguson, said “When the Community Facilities Review was agreed, our Council encouraged local groups to consider the possibility of running a community facility. The response from communities taking on the running of community centres and facilities in the last couple of years has been very positive. The benefits of this are clear to see for both the community and the Council. I’ve spoken to some groups who are now managing their local facility and the feedback has been very positive – they feel they are able to provide services from these buildings according to what and when their local community want. I look forward to Councillors being provided with this positive report that recognises the positive outcome for local people whilst delivering a saving for our Council.”
Vice Chair, John Martin, said “The Community Facilities Review is not simply about the Council handing over its buildings. Our officers have been working closely with local groups to establish effective management teams and working with them so that they are able to successfully manage the assets and ensure the future sustainability and viability of the buildings in their local communities. These management groups have a great sense of ownership and tremendous pride in being able to provide buildings that the whole community will be able access and ensure maximum usage.”

Any community interested in taking on the running of their local facility should call the Council on 030 33 33 3000 and ask for their Local Ward Manager.

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