Cheshire West and Chester Council are proud to be the newest member of the Co-operative Councils Innovation Network. This is well timed as in February our new council plan set the vision that ‘by 2024 we will all play our part in building greener, fairer and stronger communities.’ We are working to change the relationship we have with local people, engaging with them earlier and more openly and empowering them. Already changes have begun with waste collection having been brought back into local authority control in March with a commitment that the service will be run on co-operative principles where residents, businesses and staff have a greater say in the operation of the service.
The impact of Coronavirus has reinforced the fact that communities are a huge resource of ideas, innovation, insight and action and has highlighted the importance of community, co-operation and mutual support. I have never been more proud of our borough as recently when so many of us have stepped up to help our neighbours and communities, making a difference through thousands of small acts of kindness.
We want to build on this community response and make a co-operative response central to the ‘new normal’ that will begin to emerge. We are looking forward to benefiting from access to the network to support us in doing so – exploring new ideas of co-operative working approaches and sharing the learning from the different projects undertaken by our fellow members.
Councillor Louise Gittins
Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council