We were not expecting an early decision so this came as a bit of a surprise - the Council have decided that the Crown is not worthy of an ACV nomination. Whilst they recognised our nomination as eligible and our group as a valid community group their determination is that the Crown is 'not currently considered to be of important local social benefit' and therefore does not warrant classification as an Asset of Community Value.
"Although the pub does have the potential to be an important hub for the community, potential is specifically excluded from the assessment criteria... this property is not considered to be of important local social benefit"
Personally, I believe that 'potential' is the most important aspect of this nomination and we, as the community, have the potential to make it a great local. Quite why the Borough Council cannot be forward-looking is beyond me but, alas, the decision is made.
"It is not currently well used and the number of customers who visit the pub has been declining for a number of years. In the circumstances it is not thought to fulfil the criteria."
The Borough Council have clearly neglected to consider the reasons for the Crown's under-utilisation. As far as I'm aware, up until our recent community consultation nobody had bothered to ask the community what it is they wanted from their local!
The full decision letter is available for download here. Note that I have hidden the contact details for now. I'll publish the actual details in another post - see below.
What Do We Do Now?
Is this is the end of our project? You must be joking!
Members of the Steering Group have met this evening and discussed this result at length. We are of the opinion that we are still determined to pursue community ownership of the Crown Inn.
As such, there is still much work to do. We need to do what we're currently doing at a faster pace. We still need to raise that much needed cash to purchase the Crown for the community, that is still our aim and we still believe it is possible.
You'll be updated here if there's any further detail to add to the Borough Council's decision.
What Can You Do?
- Comment below or on our Facebook page so your feelings are made clear to all concerned.
- Get ready to contact the Borough Council and let them know your feelings towards their decision. Next week I'll send you details of the best person to email your thoughts to and the concise, constructive and polite way to word those concerns.
- Get ready to take part in the upcoming share issue - it's a little way off yet but so is Christmas so start saving!
- It is likely that in the very near future - and possibly at short notice - there will be another public meeting. Be prepared to attend if you can.
It is due only to the strength of our community, the interest and determination demonstrated by you, that we're in with a shot at making this work for us all. We certainly won't fall at the first hurdle - this is merely a stumble on the path to achieving our aim.
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