• Lead Member Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Participating Members Action Together CIO, Anthony Collins Solicitors, Co-operative and Mutual Solutions Ltd, Hackney Council, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Year 2024
  • Type Policy Labs

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 explore ways for councils to act as a platform for helping the community to contribute to local outcomes, and to re-think the role of councillors as community connectors, brokers and leaders.
  • 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.
  • 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.

About the project

There is a dissonance in co-operative council policymaking, in that “custom and practice” in local government does not have co-operation designed in. Some parts of our systems need retrofitting with co-operative values and behaviours, and governance is one of them. This lab helps us to understand and do that work.
For Co-operators in local government who experience dissonance in the governance of purchasing and deciding, our Co-operative Governance Policy Lab is an innovation project to include, distribute and apply learning about what it takes to have brave and inclusive governance. This will help to develop ways of deciding and purchasing in local government that foster equity and democracy. Helping us to change our systems to better align with co-operative values and principles, making it easier for us all to co-operate!

For further information contact the project lead: