Nick Matthews, Chair of Co-operatives UK asks when it comes to CCIN what is in a name?
Our Network has three important terms in its title. The ‘Co-operative’ and ‘Councils’ may be self explanatory. The actors in our Network are Councils and we are suggesting they could improve the lives of the people in their communities by being co-operative and encouraging the development of co-operative solutions.
There is another word and that is the ‘innovation’ word. Our belief is that our times require new ways of working to develop new solutions. There is no doubt that there are huge challenges in housing, social services and in almost every area where our Councils have a responsibility to their citizens.
Our belief is that a co-operative methodology and co-operative solutions can make a difference. However, to make them work will require a high degree of innovation.
Last year, at a vibrant Co-operative Congress, Dame Pauline Green launched the development of an ambitious National Co-operative Development Strategy. The process began with three themes:
Firstly, to embrace co-operative excellence. Whilst the UK’s 7,000 co-ops turnover some £37 billion we need more, and in a competitive economy these businesses need to have outstanding commercial performance whilst maintaining the integrity of their co-operative values.
Secondly, as a co-operative movement we need to practice better co-operation amongst and between co-operatives and;
Lastly, tomorrow’s co-operatives will operate in new sectors and work in new ways, in short we have to be open to innovation.
Councils in our Network are already doing innovative work in supporting co-operative solutions – so how can they do more and how can they influence any National Strategy?
I am sure many of you will have a lot to say about how we develop such a Strategy and there is still time for you to make an input before this years Congress.
To have your say, and share your views please visit the Co-operatives UK website.