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Community ownership of physical assets: Challenges, complexities and implications

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  • Sarah Skerratt

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  • Clare Hall
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    Abstract

    Within rural development policy and practice there is increasing emphasis on asset ownership and management by communities, emphasizing empowerment, inclusion and securing of local futures. Asset-Based Community Development and Community Capitals models support this view. To the majority, this is part of an appropriate, normative shift towards realizing rights of place-based communities. A minority have concerns over the largely unspoken challenges and risks. We review these contentions within the context of new data relating to the totemic rural village hall. We conducted a survey of 347 village hall committees, and present our findings within an assets framework. We highlight complexities where: built assets may be liabilities; the financial asset-base of village halls is not robust; human assets are vulnerable in terms of succession and governance. Our findings show the need for: assessing complexities of asset ownership; evaluating community capacity for asset ownership; providing support where required; and longer-term investment rather than short-term spend. We thus qualify the normative drive towards asset ownership as the mechanism for sustainable economic development.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by London South Bank University in its journal Local Economy: The Journal of the Local Economy Policy Unit.

    Volume (Year): 26 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 170-181

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    Handle: RePEc:sae:loceco:v:26:y:2011:i:3:p:170-181

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    Web page: http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/index.shtml

    Related research

    Keywords: asset-based development; economic development in rural communities; place-based communities; Scotland; village halls;

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