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Community Asset Transfer Vs Fatcat Asset Transfer

November 21, 2011

So I’ve just been looking at the latest Bristol City Council asset transfer rules and regulations (here)
They’re detailed and very tight regulations, six key points for eligibility and a 10 page document for more detailed criteria and policy.

Quite right too you might say, seeing as it involves the transfer of very valuable council assets. You want to make sure the property is going to benefit the community such as is outlined in the BCC corporate plan for 2008-2011:

Key challenges

To ensure Bristol is a successful city
To work to ensure that everyone can share in that success
To make that success sustainable, protecting our environment for future generations

You want to make sure your assets are going to the right people, the army of volunteers and organisations of the third sector that are the heartbeat of the city. These are the tight strictly controlled rules that apply to the charities, social enterprises and community interest companies who have to demonstrate real benefit to the community.
That’s Community Asset Transfer, CAT.

And then there’s the other form of asset transfer.
This one has more relaxed rules. It follows the rules of flattery and human weakness. A world where the Nouveau rich own millions of dots on a screen as well as great swathes of land. And the rules remain reassuringly like the old days-Tweed jackets in Council House corridors. Cuban cigars behind College Green. The promise of untold adulation from hosting a third rate match or two from the greatest show on earth. “Don’t bother with the 10 page documents the silly charities have to fill in old boy, a handshake seals the deal for me.”

The Fatcat Asset transer No.1= large tract of land to fatcat so that it can be flogged to Massive Supermarket chain to build Multi-nozzled Filling Station and Entrance to MONSTER High St Destroying Hypermarket
The Fatcat Asset transer No.2= Large tract of former allotment land to be given to fatcat so that it can be flogged to posh housing company to build no affordable homes.

There’s other stuff involved like smashing up greenbelt, new stadium, cheap gym entry, but you get the gist? One rule for the fatcat and one rule for the community.

Sorry got to go…
time to transfer my assets back to the three-storey modular-pallet apartment on the Green.

  1. November 21, 2011 12:46 am

    In before schizo: here’s the number 1 requirement for community asset transfer. Please note -obviously this doesn’t apply if you are a fatcat.

    be a charitable or not-for-private-profit organisation, eg a registered charity, company limited by guarantee with charitable status, Community Interest Company (CIC), a co-operative or community benefit Industrial & Provident Society with an asset lock, etc.

  2. Richard Lane permalink
    November 21, 2011 1:13 pm


  3. Derek permalink
    November 21, 2011 2:58 pm

    Surely commenting to your own blog post without anyone commenting first is a bit psychopathic?

  4. November 21, 2011 6:59 pm

    Yes crazy, only just got in before the motormouth though who’s a bit tired .

    How about this? Fatcat Asset Transfer = FAT


    Fatcat Asset Transfer Community Asset Transfer = FATCAT


  5. Derek permalink
    November 22, 2011 10:09 am


    Let me just pick myself up from the floor. You’re oh so incredibly funny. I wish I was you.

  6. November 22, 2011 2:24 pm

    The gifting of city assets to supermarket chains is a serious matter that the EU boffins are investigating. It’s not that funny. FATCAT lol, that is a good one, glad you enjoyed it.

  7. Curse of Gnome permalink
    November 23, 2011 11:42 pm

    Your right. Its not funny. Its right up there with bank bailouts and the fatcat friendly tax regimes both nulabour and the tories put in place.

    Gifting major public assets for dubious public benefits deserves a public inquiry on its own, and thats before we even think about replacing 5 members of the planning committee with yes men 2 days before the decision.

    Had that particular decision gone the other way round, we can be sure the relevant Councillors would have been verbally and in some cases almost literally lynched by the BEP driven mob.

  8. November 27, 2011 4:08 pm

    You might be interested to take a look at the legal tools under:

    They include a note on development and procurement in relation to community asset transfer: Also, there is useful information about construction contracts and community asset transfer: And, finally, re your EU comment:

  9. November 30, 2011 8:45 am

    The Gnome is quite right, there’s still a load of dodgy dealing that needs exposing.

  10. November 30, 2011 8:56 am

    Thank you asset transter unit. I’ll read these links with great interest.
    My first glance has uncovered the following gem:


    Defining purpose is the first stage of the asset transfer process. The building being developed should be chosen for a specific reason, rather than starting with a building and attempting to find a purpose for it.

    Asset transfer works best where it responds directly to the needs of the community in which it is situated. This means defining the purpose must be led by and involve local people. Asset transfer is far more likely to be successful where there is buy-in and support from a good cross-section of the community.

    In practice this means organisations engaging in asset transfer should have pre-existing roots and links to the relevant community that they can tap into. Where this does not exist links should be forged with voluntary and community groups in the area. This should happen at an early stage, when the purpose is still being defined. People are more likely to support a development when they have an input into the plans.

    The exact strategy adopted depends on local circumstances. In areas rich in community activity and organisation it should be relatively straightforward. Where existing networks are weak more effort will be needed to engage and enthuse the local community. One option that should be looked at in these situations is establishing a Development Trust. Information on how to go about this is available from the Development Trust Association.


    Any fatcats reading this don’t worry because you’re exempt- Fatcat Asset Transfer rules apply, ie you do what you like when you like because you’re filthy rich. And not even the brave spineless council bods will stand in your way.

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