Right To Bid: Labour delays slammed
Welsh Conservatives have criticised long Labour delays in implementing a community ‘Right to Bid’ in Wales, as one of the government’s own advisers calls for councils to publish a list of assets that could be taken over locally.
In England, under a Conservative-led UK government, the right to bid has long empowered communities to help save threatened local assets. No such power exists in Labour-run Wales, although a consultation is currently underway.
As part of a continued campaign urging Labour Ministers to put that disparity right, Welsh Conservatives recently launched a ‘Support Your Local Pub’ campaign, aimed at halting the decline of public houses across Wales.
The party remains committed to empowering communities in efforts to take control of all community assets.
Today it’s reported a Welsh government adviser has urged councils to publish a list of sites that could be taken over.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Communities, Mark Isherwood AM, said:
“It’s about time Labour ministers used the powers they already have under the 2011 UK Localism Act to give greater powers to communities.
“This is an option that has been available to our English neighbours for a number of years.
“Publishing lists of potential assets is a step in the right direction but it’s the Labour government that has the power to properly support communities and put us on an equal footing with England.
“Whether a pub, post office or leisure centre; if a local amenity is threatened, the right to bid could offer protection and allow local groups to take these hugely important assets into their own hands.
“In Wales, it’s long, long overdue.”
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Local Government, Janet Finch-Saunders AM, said:
“Welsh Conservatives’ campaign for greater community power has gathered strength and – while it’s pleasing to see further support for our aims – Labour’s laziness on the right to bid remains baffling.
“The evidence is there. In England, hundreds of amenities have been taken under community control.
“Welsh councils should follow today’s advice and publish lists of potential assets – and Labour ministers must ensure our communities do not continue to have a far smaller voice than their English counterparts.”