Our new report for the Co-operative Councils’ Innovation Network

From Co-operative Councils to Co-operative Places is Collaborate’s new report for the Co-operative Councils’ Innovation Network (CCIN). It is a strong statement of intent about the future direction of local government in a post-Brexit landscape.

The report sets out five strategic fundamentals for Co-operative Councils — including the building of credible place-based human and social capital strategies as a precondition for growth.

Councillor Sharon Taylor, Chair of the CCIN and Leader of Stevenage Council said:

It means transforming the way we work as local councils and it means influencing our partners to create co-operative places. Most importantly it means empowering residents to play their part, be that in making decisions, delivering services, or supporting others in the community.

The report draws on the evidence from two leading Co-operative Councils, Oldham and Sunderland. It offers leaders a framework to reboot strategic partnerships and change the culture of collaboration across services to the public in a place.

Dr Henry Kippin, Chief Executive of Collaborate said:

Co-operative councils have been shaping their own vision of place in the absence of a guiding vision from Whitehall. They now need to turn this vision into practice that can influence the big-ticket areas of growth and public service reform. This means a radical shift in the role of local authorities, and a big set of challenge for civic leaders working in an acutely difficult context. The way they navigate these challenges will help shape the future of local public services overall.

Councillor Jean Stretton, Leader of Oldham Council said:

The co-operative approach requires working in a radically different way that goes beyond classic models of Public Service Reform. Put simply, it is about everybody doing their bit and everyone being able to benefit from the result.

Co-operative Councils can no longer look to national politics or Whitehall policymakers for answers. Leaders within the Co-operative Council movement need to be bold. The pace of change in our economy, society and policy context mean that the old model of project-by-project working will not carry the weight of the changes we expect from it or achieve the co-operative ripple we want to achieve across place, people and public service.