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Your first Co-operative Party Councillor Update September 2014
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Dear <<First Name>>,


Welcome to the second edition of our new newsletter to Co-operative Party members who are councillors.

This newsletter gives a flavour of some of the work that is going on across the country.  If you have news about work promoting co-operative policies in local government in your area then please get in touch.

A Co-operative Offer for Local Government

The New Local Government Network and the Fabian Society have published a collection of essays Labour’s Local Offer: Ideas for a Radical Local Manifesto.  These essays set out a series of ideas for Labour in local government and include a chapter by our General Secretary Karin Christiansen on A Co-operative Approach to Local Government.

It is increasingly clear that co-operative and mutual approaches have an important role to play, and vital lessons to contribute, in almost every aspect of local government, including community regeneration, economic development, housing, leisure, social services, and education.
Read the NLGN Manifesto [PDF]

Co-operative party Conference

In October we held our very successful conference at the TUC in London. There were a large number of councillors in attendance at the conference and a wide variety of policy discussions and fringe meetings which demonstrated the importance of local government to the Co-operative Party’s agenda.

Read our policy paper on Communities and Local Government
Co-operatives and mutuals have a role to play in almost every aspect of local government, including community regeneration and economic development, housing, leisure, social services and education.
Co-operative & mutual models:-
  • Retain jobs and profits locally
  • Are ethical
  • Are flexible
  • Can make a contribution to all aspects of the local economy
The Co-operative Councils approach is a pioneering new approach to Council services around the concept of local Councils being more “co-operative” in how they deliver services. Whilst being a co-operative council means different things in different places, underpinning the model is a genuine commitment to working with local residents and communities, rather than doing things to them. This is an alternative to both traditional top down decision-making and ‘command and control’ models of public sector provision, and those based on privatisation and contracts based on price competition. It is an approach rooted in co-operative values and principles, with objectives.

Co-operative Councils Innovation Network (CCIN)

The Co-operative Council Innovation Network held its quarterly conference in Glasgow on 2nd December.  This gave an opportunity to find out about the work which is going on in Glasgow and a chance to share best practice and network. 
 
CCIN have produced a brief video which sets out a vision for co-operative councils.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMh77gw9WQ8 This is very useful in making the case for more co-operative policies in the public sector.
 
At the Labour Party Conference in Manchester CCIN elected a new chair and we would like to congratulate Councillor Andrew Burns of the City of Edinburgh Council on his election as chair.  
 
CCIN launched its policy commission on community resilience, jobs and enterprise in September, this commission will produce its report in February. This policy commission is being chaired by the Leader of Lambeth Council Councillor Lib Peck.

Visit the CCIN Policy Commission website

Co-operative Capital - London 

In September we published a pamphlet edited by Steve Reed MP & Gareth Thomas MP entitled Co-operative Capital – Creating a city that works for Londoners.

Whilst this pamphlet is focused on London it also provides a number of examples which can be applied elsewhere.  There is a strong local government strand in this pamphlet.  The pamphlet proposes amongst other things to promote social enterprises and co-operatives as part of a stronger economy; promoting co-operative nurseries; share decision-making with communities to tackle crime; increase the share of co-operative housing; promote more co-operative energy schemes; put local people in charge of regeneration partnerships; more co-operative trust schools; and promotion of credit unions.
Read Co-operative Capital [PDF]

Co-operative Capital - Edinburgh

The City of Edinburgh Council is committed to making Edinburgh a co-operative capital.  Each year the council publishes an annual progress report on its work promoting co-operatives.

Often councillors have said that they need to be able to demonstrate to officers that co-operative policies are working in other authorities.  Please share any reports from your council which promote co-operative policies, send them to me and I’ll share them with council colleagues across the country.
Read Edinburgh Council's Progress Report [PDF]

Feedback

This newsletter is being sent to Labour & Co-operative Councillors and to other Labour Councillors who share our co-operative values.

We hope to use these newsletters to highlight news and best practice from across Britain which will help you in your role.
 
Please get in touch with me to share news about what you are doing in your area as a Co-operative councillor, to highlight case studies, or if you have any questions about your work as a councillor.
 
If you don’t already follow the Co-operative Party on Twitter then please do so, we are @CoopParty, and make sure to like us on Facebook.
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Richard

Richard McCready
Political Officer
r.mccready@party.coop

07803 011693

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