Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 - asset transfers: social value guidance

Guidance on social value for the relevant authorities when they are considering asset transfer applications, and should be considered as one part of their overall decision making process.

11. Good Practice

11.1 To help community bodies identify assets that may be available through asset transfer, section 94 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 requires each relevant authority to establish, maintain and make available a register of land which it owns or leases, "to the best of the authority's knowledge and belief".

11.2 It is for each relevant authority to determine whether a particular property is required to be included in the register, depending on the individual terms of ownership or lease in each case, however the register must be maintained and this information must be accessible to communities. You should consider what additional information could be included in the register to help community bodies understand the status of each property and whether it may be suitable for their needs, without having to make further enquiries.

11.3 As asset transfer requests can be made for any land owned or leased by the relevant authority, you may receive enquiries about land which someone believes is owned or leased by your authority, which is not on your register. You should aim to respond helpfully to such queries, for example signposting if you believe the land is owned by another relevant authority.

11.4 We recommend that community bodies should make contact with the relevant authority as early as possible and there should be an open discussion about the community's objectives and property that may be suitable. The relevant authority should be open about the information it has, including practical knowledge about managing the property, and how other information might be obtained. Most importantly, you should ensure that the community transfer body is aware of any information that is likely to be a significant factor in the authority's decision on the request.

11.5 It is worth remembering that although informal dialogue is encouraged at the earliest opportunity, community transfer bodies are still able to submit an asset transfer request using the legislation without this, and relevant authorities must be prepared. Early engagement should be used as an opportunity to help community groups identify alternative buildings or land in your care if there is good reason as to why they cannot take over their initially requested site.



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