The future of community ownership

Our Chief Executive, Andy Sawford spoke on Monday at a Labour fringe on “The future of community ownership”. Debate panelists included, Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow; Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield; Belinda Pratte, Head of Policy at the National Council of Voluntary Organisations; and Rosie Anderson, Policy Director for Community Matters.

Andy enriched the debate by looking at the consequences for asset management within the ‘Big Society’ and the coalition’s emphasis on localism. With the Localism and Decentralization Bill being published later this year, Andy noted that there is a wider debate to be had about the role of the voluntary sector in the current fiscal context.

Whilst Andy also offered examples of the huge voluntary achievements in the past that can be used as inspiration in attempting to deal with the deficit, he cautioned that tensions would arise from concentrating uniquely on maintaining voluntary ownership of important assets.

Andy suggested that only an approach to communities working within a national framework which involved elected officials could work. Andy emphasised that it was vitally important to learn from the best of business in terms of the success that many businesses have had in shaping the focus specifically for different communities, whilst also attempting to be successful on a wider, global scale.