Message from our Chair
Welcome from Cllr Sharon Taylor OBE
Thank you for the honour and privilege you have given me in electing me as Chair of the Co-operative Councils’ Innovation Network. I have been involved with the Network since its earliest days and look forward to playing my part now in shaping its future.
We know that for decades’ people have felt more confident in their local council to take account of their views than they do of Westminster politicians, but we must never be complacent about that which was part of the driving force behind setting up the Network. We want to reclaim the traditions of community action, community engagement and civic empowerment which can transform communities and which will help us deliver radical and innovative programmes that are designed, led and delivered in partnership with communities and therefore maximise the social dividend they bring. It has also always been the purpose of the Network to share our developing good practice and to support one another in our co-operative aims and values.
We should not forget that co-operative councils should, and will, look different around the country, because each place is different. We have different challenges, histories and economies and there is no one right answer to these. What we are doing in the Network is proposing some of the characteristics of Co-operative Places, People and Public Services. Please let us know what you think of these, they will be stronger and more enduring if we all contribute to them.
Councillor Sharon Taylor OBE
Chair of the Co-operative Councils’ Innovation Network
Leader of Stevenage Borough Council
Message from Steve Reed OBE MP, Honorary President of the CCIN
The Co-operative Councils Innovation Network is showing in practical ways how we can reshape public services around citizens and communities. The benefits of this are enormous. Making services directly accountable to the people they serve delivers better value for money and gives people back more control over their own lives. This isn’t about cuts or austerity, it’s about supporting people to be more self-reliant so they can dream bigger dreams and realise their aspirations for themselves and their families. At the same time we can strengthen the bonds and relationships within communities and make them more resilient to the many challenges we all face in a fast-changing world.
The Network is driven by the values of fairness, opportunity and solidarity that have always inspired progressive politics, and is showing how we can use those values today to do better for less. Rather than a think tank this is a do-tank and these councils are demonstrating how we can unleash the creativity, innovation and leadership of our own communities to meet the challenge of our times.
Steve Reed OBE MP
Honorary President of the CCIN
Member of Parliament for Croydon North