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September 24, 2008

Global financial crisis could be opportunity for community sector

Barry Quirk, the chief executive of Lewisham Council and leader of the government-commissioned review of asset transfers from local authorities to community-led groups, has indicated that the downturn in the commercial property market could a blessing in disguise for communities

Barry Quirk

Barry Quirk, author of last year’s review into community management and ownership of assets, has urged councils to review their strategies on underused property to help community groups to benefit from the credit crunch.
Speaking at the DTA Annual Conference in Leeds, Mr Quirk, who is chief executive of Lewisham Council, told delegates the current climate was more of an opportunity than a threat for community groups hoping to acquire assets.
He said there was less private sector interest in public property, which could make it easier for development trusts to take control of facilities.

‘This is the time to bring in community groups. The government recognises that allowing people to deal with local issues is the way forward.’

A copy of the Report of The Quirk Review can be downloaded from