Whilst I was pre-occupied with the election campaign it seems Brent Council has changed its Community Asset Transfer policy, from being broadly in favour of transfers to reverting to its more established practice of putting things out to market. I am more comfortable with new (and older) approach.
However well intentioned, transferring assets to groups at below market rates always looks dangerously close to favouritism and patronage. There are far more potentially deserving groups out there than can possibly benefit from this form of largesse. On what basis does the Council decide who to support? There is also an automatic possibility that any decision to favour a particular group can be seen as bias towards a particular ethnicity, religion, area and so on.
Far better to apply the same rules to everyone equally.
It does, however, leave potential for considerable embarrassment for politicians who appear to have made promises they can't keep to particular groups.