In November 2016, after a review of its community buildings and consultation with the voluntary sector, Tower Hamlets Council agreed that all VCS organisations which occupy its buildings must have a lease or hiring agreement and be charged a market rent (with some specific exceptions). Alongside this, the Council agreed a scheme to reduce the rent payable for organisations which meet specific criteria relating to the community benefit of their activities and their organisational governance and management.
Initially these new arrangements only affected organisations in buildings in the Council’s community premises portfolio; a document we've been referring to as 'the list' in previous premises forum meetings. The Council has now decided the arrangements will apply to all VCS organisations using its buildings. It has also decided to review the rent reduction scheme in the light of the wider scope of the community buildings policy.
The Council welcomes your views on the proposed changes which are set out in the discussion document below, including any alternative suggestions, and is inviting your response through:
- Individual contact with organisations leasing premises from the Council;
- This premises forum meeting, on 16th November 2017
- An online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DZ8DLFG. (Closes 6th December)
For background, the Council reports where the premises policy and rent reduction scheme were agreed and where the scope was extended are listed below:
- Cabinet 1st November 2016 – Community Buildings Report , and
- Grants Determination Cabinet Sub Committee 10th July 2017 – Community Buildings Review
The documents relating to the redevelopment of the Community Buildings Policy which set out the detail of the rent reduction policy, the criteria and exclusions from the scheme are:
We strongly recommend that you read through all of these documents and discuss them with your colleagues and contacts as part of the review process, and come to this meeting ready to dicuss potential issues, suggested changes, and plans and concerns around the implementation of the new scheme.
London, E2 6HG