Property is drift – on transfer of assets to the community

The Stoke Councillors who were in the room at Staffs Uni were very keen. They were of a common voice when it came to discuss transfer of assets to the community of council buildings that were being dispensed with. It was October 15 th and I was sitting in on a seminar as part of the Stoke Stories conference organised by the Royal Society and the WEA. I had reason to be dubious as I was sitting next to Richard Talbot, the local historian and community activist from Penkhull. He told me of the problems that he had faced with the Council over Boothen Park and an attempt by friends the park to run the facility for community use. It seemed that the City Council were not that helpful and were only keen to unload costs and responsibility for things like tree clearing something that had not been done for years when the park was controlled by the City Council. Yet they were playing hardball with a group of willing and committed volunteers. Continue reading