Principles met

  • 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.

Stevenage Borough Council established a new leisure trust in 1998 with a 25-year contract. Whilst this was right at the time, ahead of it coming to an end in 2022-23, we set about a whole system review working extensively with residents and community and sporting groups, which resulted in the “Stevenage Leisure Eco System”. An innovative approach to procurement has resulted in a leisure contract that is no longer limited to physical assets but rather focused on health creation in communities, maximising open spaces, community assets and informal networks.

This was coupled with an options appraisal resulting in a mixed economy approach to delivering leisure functions, with some services delivered in-house and some delivered through partnering arrangements. This was to ensure that we were prepared to meet not only current demands but also consider how residents’ needs may continue to evolve.

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