PHCBS appealed D&G Council decision not to award Community Asset Transfer to PHCBS. This appeal resulted in an review of the processes carried out by D&G Council and resulted in a report to the Ad Hoc Covid-19 Committee which were set up to deal with urgent matters during the pandemic. All the committee papers and decision may be down loaded here The committee report notes: “Officers recommended to the PHCBS at an early stage that additional , and more specific, information be provided to strengthen the application and in line with our usual arrangements, a Ward Officer was allocated to support the applicant.” However, no further information was presented by the PHCBS. The report also notes: “The submitted business plan refers to and focuses on the original Harbour ownership and regeneration. There is no mention of the Hall in this plan. Other than mention of providing a social and recreational space, the evidence demonstrating positive impact to the local community is poor / weak”.
PHCBS grounds for appeal included: “our application has been seriously misrepresented in its delivery to both Committees of Councillors on 4th Sept and 29th Oct 2019. Furthermore, we can evidence (in complete detail) how the score and statements applied to our application by Council Officers were seriously flawed and unfounded“.
You can judge for yourself the papers are all here including the evidence supplie dby PHCBS Link to D&G Council – Committee papers
D&G Officers reported: The Scottish Government’s advisors for CATs, COSS have also been consulted in the development of the (review) report.
The Ad Hoc committee voted along party lines with 5 members upholding the Council decision not to award the CAT to PHCBS and 3 voting for an amendment to overturn the decision not to award.
The Committee Agreed with the original decision “having reviewed all the information provided, to confirm the decision of the Finance, Procurement and Transformation Committee on 29 October 2019 not to transfer Portpatrick Village Hall to the Portpatrick Harbour Community Benefit Society.”
Notwithstanding the independent review by D&G Council and the advice received by Scottish Government Advisors on Community Asset Transfer, It would appear that PHCBS are seeking a further appeal to Scottish Ministers against the decisions and review by D&G Council.
We have formally notified D&G that we are happy to take part in any independent third party mediation exercise. We understand that PHCBS are challenging D&G Council decision not to award the Asset transfer to them and have not indicated any agreement to mediation at this time.
29th October 2019 – Community Asset Transfer Decision
PCDT Community Asset Transfer request was considered at Dumfries and Galloway, Finance, Procurement and Transformation Committee. We await the full text of the decision, but it is understood that the Committee supported the previous Area Committee recommendation as regards PCDT:
not to recommend the transfer for reasons of the exceptionally high number of representations opposed to this community asset transfer request, evidencing division in the local community and also AGREED to recommend that Portpatrick Village Hall remains open and in the ownership of Dumfries and Galloway Council until an alternative arrangement can be agreed; and FURTHER AGREED that officers explore the potential for both Portpatrick Community Development Trust and Portpatrick Harbour Community Benefit Society to seek mediation through national organisations to reduce division within the local community.
All the papers may be downloaded from D&C Council web site Finance, Procurement and Transformation page: https://dumfriesgalloway.moderngov.co.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeId=552
The full report by Director Communities officer’s report is included here: PORTPATRICK VILLAGE HALL – COMMUNITY ASSET TRANSFER – DECISION – REPORT BY DIRECTOR COMMUNITIES
The procedure following this has been laid out in the Director Communities report.
Where multiple requests have been received for the same asset, these must
be dealt with and progressed sequentially, in date order, by Committee i.e. the date at which the requests have been validated. (The PHCBS request was validated on 7 July 2019 and the PCDT request validated on 1 August 2019 and therefore this is the order they are considered).
It was noted that on the advice from DTAS, should Members agree to the transfer of the asset to PHCBS, they could not then consider the transfer to the PCDT.
Should the decision have been to transfer the asset to PCDT, this can only be done so on the proviso that any appeal potentially put forward on the decision against PHCBS’s request is concluded before the transfer of the asset to PCDT can be transacted and concluded. It is understood that the PHCBS CAT request was not approved.
4 September 2019 – Community Asset transfer Wigtown Area Committee
The full pack with the background to Portpatrick Village Hall, the status of the title, stage 2 CAT submission, community representations and our business plan may be downloaded. here:
Of particular note is that a independent Officer panel was established to evaluate the submission ( and the PHCBS) submission. Key issues in the assessment were:
- Engagement with stakeholders and the local community
- Vision and impact – the positive difference which would be made for local people
- Sustainability and financial planning
PCDT submission was scored as total score of 104/150.
- Engagement 19/30
- Vision and Impact 43/60
- Sustainability & Financial 42/60
By comparison the report notes the PHBS submission was a total score of 71/150.
- Engagement 13/30
- Vision and Impact 29/60
- Sustainability & Financial 29/60
The formal recommendation as regards PCDT is:
Following Members consideration, the decision of Wigtown Area Committee is as follows:
6.1 the Portpatrick Community Development Trust’s Business Plan and supporting documentation as detailed in Appendix 1 and Appendix 1a for the Community Asset Transfer of the Portpatrick Village Hall;
6.2 the options available to our Council as detailed in paragraph 3.20;
6.3 AGREED to recommend to Finance Procurement and Transformation Committee option 2, that being not to recommend the transfer for reasons of the exceptionally high number of representations opposed to this community asset transfer request, evidencing division in the local community and also AGREED to recommend that Portpatrick Village Hall remains open and in the ownership of Dumfries and Galloway Council until an alternative arrangement can be agreed; and
6.4 FURTHER AGREED that officers explore the potential for both Portpatrick Community Development Trust and Portpatrick Harbour Community Benefit Society to seek mediation through national organisations to reduce division within the local community.
We had previously (at the EOI stage) intimated a willingness to engage in constructive mediation. Following this recommendation we have written to confirm our continued willingness to engage in any form of independent mediation.
1st August -2019. Stage 2 – Community Asset Transfer
PCDT prepared a full Business Plan in support of Stage 2 Community Asset Transfer Request. The plan contains our development vision for an active and vibrant Community Hub based at the Village Hall. The plan also contains information on the consultation processes, our proposed partners and a full 5 year financial plan for the Hall.
You can read more about the Asset Transfer process on the D&G Site Here
More about our Plans Here
Anyone may make representations about this request to Dumfries and Galloway Council. Representations must be in writing and include the name and address of the person making it. A copy of the representation will be given to the organisation making the request. request by email to CommunityAssetTransfer@dumgal.gov.uk
Or in hard copy to: Community Development and Empowerment Manager, Communities Directorate, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Municipal Chambers, Buccleuch Street Dumfries, DG1 2AD