Principles met

  • We will develop systems that enable citizens to be equal partners in designing and commissioning public services and in determining the use of public resources.
  • We will promote community-based approaches to economic development that focus on supporting the creation of jobs, social enterprises and other businesses and providing an environment for co-operative and mutual enterprises to thrive.
  • We will embrace innovation in how we work with local communities to drive positive change.
  • We will capture and ‘expand’ the experience and learning from individual projects and approaches in order to encourage broader application of co-operative principles within individual member Councils and across the Network.
  • We will support the development of a framework and criteria for social value, giving substance to the concept and supporting Councils with the tools to ensure better local social and economic outcomes.
  • In exploring new ways of meeting the priority needs of our communities we will encourage models, such as co-operatives and mutuals, which give greater influence and voice to staff and users. in designing and commissioning public services and in determining the use of public resources.
  • As a membership organisation, we will make this statement of our principles operational by: • Co-operation among members: Our members work together to help each other implement our values, sharing experiences and learning. • Openness of membership: Full, Associate and Affiliate Membership is open to any qualifying Council, organisation or individual who shares our values and is committed to putting them into action. • Co-production of the Network’s work: Members help shape the Network’s work programme and the content of events and written products. • Action-focused: The network is a vehicle for helping councils translate co-operative values and principles into policy and practice. •Membership-based: The network is majority funded by modest membership subscriptions from its member Councils, Associates and Affiliates. •Non-party-political: Members share the belief that working co-operatively within and across communities holds the key to tackling today’s challenges.

Hounslow Council has launched the UK’s first-ever policy to transform wasteland into new allotments, community gardens and orchards to grow food in a cost-of-living crisis and pair them with local schools to teach urban children in often deprived areas about healthy living, sustainability and biodiversity.

Up to 27-acres of wasteland have been identified in the first phase of Grow for the Future which will help tackle the enormous demand for allotments and growing spaces since the pandemic and allow residents to cultivate their own fresh produce in the face of rocketing food costs.

For the first time ever in the UK, the Council will look to pair each new site with a local school and dedicate a portion of it to teach urban children in often deprived areas about where their food comes from, the importance of good nutrition and how to live healthy lives.

The food grown by the schools can also be donated to support children who are going hungry at a time when the cost of food is soaring, and over 100,000 children in England may be missing out on free school meals.

Cllr Salman Shaheen describing the benefits of Hounslow's Grow For The Future project

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