End of year Q&A: Louise Gittins, chair, CCIN

The Co-operative Councils Innovation Network has grown to 123 members and 21 supporters in 2023

How was 2023 for you and the co-op council sector?

Over the last year, the network has grown even further and now has 123 members and 21 supporters. We have attended local government and party conferences and exhibitions, and our case study books still disappear from our stand like hot cakes. 

Local government is facing many serious financial challenges and councils are reaching crisis point. The main challenges are around escalating costs of social care and the network is determined to find alternative working models.

I have had the pleasure of chairing our Executive Oversight Committee, including using our membership subscriptions to fund policy labs and prototypes, giving our councils the space to innovate without putting scarce council funds at risk. This year, we continued our groundbreaking work developing co‑operative policy documents on those big challenges. This year we launched six new reports and announced seven new areas of policy development.

Our members were delighted this year to agree to fund our study visit to Emilia Romagna in Italy, an internationally renowned co-operative community, which will take place in March 2024.

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