Principles met

  • 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.
  • 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

The co-operative council approach is one based on values. It is a case of ‘it’s not what you do, but the way that you do it’ – and the added social value that that difference can make – the co-operative difference. And there has always been recognition of the difficulty of measuring the co-op difference, in particular the ‘soft’ nature of some of the cultural and social outcomes that we aim to engender through working in this way.

Many discussions have taken place over the past couple of years to reach a conclusion as to how we can consistently measure the difference, however, to date there has been no agreed approach or framework developed against which cooperative councils can accurately evidence the difference and impact that is brought about by working co-operatively – until now…

The methodology presented in this paper should enable all co-operative councils to:

• Envisage the co-operative difference they want to make

• Understand how to multiply that impact across the place, people and public service – create a ripple

• Create a robust evaluation framework to enable them to better evidence the difference