Category Archives: Uncategorised

Councillor Ian Ward – Birmingham City Council becomes our 75th Member

25th August, 2020 / Nicola, CCIN

I am absolutely delighted that Birmingham City Council has become one of the newest members of the Co-operative Councils’ Innovation Network and now is an opportune moment to do so. In recent times we have been faced with challenges both new and old. Covid-19 is a human tragedy, new to the world. The scale of ...

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Councillor Sharon Taylor OBE – Co-operating for Community Dividends

4th February, 2020 / Nicola, CCIN

The Co-operative Councils Innovation Network is a collaboration between local authorities who are committed to finding better ways of working for, and with, local people for the benefit of their local community.  Our work recognises the need to define a new model for local government built on civic leadership, with councils working in equal partnership ...

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Health and Social Care – our 2020 funded projects

28th August, 2019 / Nicola, CCIN

We are rapidly approaching the time of year when a call will be made for members to submit proposals for Policy Labs and Policy Prototypes.  Each year the Network has made funding available to support members to use co-operative values and principles to explore and develop innovative approaches to issues facing local government today.  Reports ...

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So what does being crowned ‘Cooperative Council of the Year’ actually mean?

25th June, 2019 / Nicola, CCIN

As South Tyneside Council are announced as Co-operative Council of the Year 2019 we talk to Council Leader, Cllr Iain Malcolm, about just what the accolade means. With the public sector facing unprecedented financial challenges, the vital role played by volunteers, community groups and other third sector organisations is becoming increasingly important. That is why ...

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Barcelona – Spain’s ‘Co-operative Council’

28th April, 2019 / Nicola, CCIN

In April 2019 I visited Barcelona to learn about recent developments in the promotion of co-operatives and the wider social economy in the City. Back in the 1990s I worked in the co-operative movement in Valencia and have always been impressed with the way that co-operatives and the wider social economy play a significant role ...

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How innovation and co-operative thinking are paying dividends in South Tyneside

6th March, 2019 / Nicola, CCIN

South Tyneside has been rated as a high-performing council. Yet, compared to 2010, we have 54 per cent less government grant to spend on supporting residents and are the third hardest hit by central government cuts. Against this background we have had to consider new ways of working to be able to continue to provide ...

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We need to fully harness the power of co-operatives and social enterprises working in our communities…..

20th December, 2018 / Nicola, CCIN

Last October I attended the CCIN annual conference and came away energised by the inspirational presentations and discussions. There was a real collective spirit among network members, focussed on achieving positive change in what are very difficult times.  It inspired me to get more involved and to stand for the affiliate position on the Executive ...

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Could Social Co-operatives hold the key to delivering Social Care?

18th December, 2018 / Nicola, CCIN

With Christmas around the corner, many authorities will be waiting in eager anticipation for the long-awaited green paper on Adult Social Care; originally promised in 2017 we now hope it will be published 18 months later in early 2019.  With the budget setting in full flow, the anticipation of options for a long-term sustainable adult ...

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Can smart city thinking be cohesive to urban Councils?

30th October, 2018 / Nicola, CCIN

As nearly every city authority in the country has either looked to, or is implementing their own smart city project could this kind of smart thinking translate to an urban area? Like many post-industrial areas in Great Britain it has its own share of social issues with unemployment and deprivation. In the last Multiple Deprivation ...

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Co-operative Councils: The Way Forward

9th October, 2018 / Nicola, CCIN

It was a pleasure to visit Croydon for the CCIN annual meeting on 4th October, opened by Sharon Taylor the Leader of Stevenage Council and Chair of CCIN who reminded us of all the great work that has been done during the year and the significant growth in membership.   I am not sure what ...

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People power is the antidote to populism

7th October, 2018 / Nicola, CCIN

People feel alienated and remote from politics.  The financial crash led to a decade of austerity.  Austerity has ripped the heart out of communities with the loss of shared spaces like libraries, pubs, youth and community centres.  Good jobs have been lost to automation.  Inequality has grown deeper even though the economy’s grown bigger because ...

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How councils can generate social value from facilities management

5th September, 2018 / Nicola, CCIN

Often, a Council’s Facilities Management (FM) function can be seen as a means to an end; necessary to the continued functioning of the Council’s property portfolio but providing limited wider benefits. The focus has been on reducing Facilities Management costs with little consideration of social value. Given the nature of Facilities Management and it being ...

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How councils can Keep it Local

26th June, 2018 / Nicola, CCIN

On 9 June, I spoke at the Co-op Party’s local government conference in London. We were asked to consider how councils can procure for social good, and learn the lessons from the collapse of Carillion. At Locality, we believe there are many lessons to be learned, but primarily that the tide is turning on large ...

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Building a co-operative city that leaves no one behind

29th May, 2018 / Nicola, CCIN

To me, a co-operative council is a system that reflects the honest truth about politics locally, and indeed nationally; the council does not have all the answers. And if we want to help the maximum number of people, in a time of dwindling resources, the only way forward is together. The days in which Town ...

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Too Big to fail; Too Nice to Fail?

17th March, 2018 / Nicola, CCIN

We are all aware of the phrase ‘too big to fail’ from back in 2008/09 when we saw the first signs of the economic crash. Lehman Brothers was considered OK to be let go but the insurance giant AIG was just too big a failure for the system to swallow and that set the tone ...

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Co-operative Education for All

15th February, 2018 / Nicola, CCIN

Mention the word education and for many it will conjure up the image of the classroom.  Depending on your experience of this it may be a happy memory and something you wish to repeat or something you are glad is over and to be avoided at all costs in the future. There is of course ...

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Bringing Principle 7 to life as austerity continues

30th January, 2018 / Nicola, CCIN

I am pleased to have the opportunity to be the guest blog writer for the February 2018 newsletter of the ‘Cooperative Councils’ Innovation Network’.  I am a local Councillor and community activist from the Halewood area of Knowsley. Now, more than ever, there is a necessity for elected members to become more involved in offering ...

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We’ve forgotten to explain what coops are in Cooperatives Fortnight & how they can benefit communities

30th July, 2017 / Nicola, CCIN

For my first blog, I’m focussing on something that all elected representatives on Councils could use to highlight co-operatives and co-operative ways of working, so that we can focus on delivering the National Cooperative Development Strategy. Cooperatives Fortnight  I make no apology for choosing this as I ‘invented’ it and I would like to see ...

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It’s time to “trust the people”

28th June, 2017 / Nicola, CCIN

Theresa May called the General Election three years before she needed to in the expectation of winning by a landslide.  As we now know, she lost her majority instead.  People across the country have had enough of relentless and unfair cuts, widening inequality, and after the Brexit vote we also know they’ve had enough of ...

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