Cooperative Council

Independent experts and residents who will join Lambeth’s Co-op Commission announced

Local residents and leading experts from the fields of social policy, health, the arts, business, and the voluntary and charitable sector have been recruited to help Lambeth Council develop its pioneering ‘Co-operative Council’ approach.

They include journalist and commentator Polly Toynbee, Lord Victor Adebowale, Chief Executive of the charity Turning Point, Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts, Srabani Sen, Chief Executive of Contact a Family, Martin Green Chief Executive of the English Community Care Association, Stephen Bubb, Chief Executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, Allison Ogden-Newton, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise London, and Richard Bridge, Chair of Waterloo Community Coalition.

A number of these Commissioners are also residents of the borough and will be able to bring their individual local perspectives to the Commission’s work as well as their extensive expertise.

Lambeth’s Co-operative Council model – first trailed in the national media in February 2010 – will see residents take on a bigger role in running and shaping local services. The model applies the co-operative model of fairness, accountability and responsibility across a broad range of services.

The Commission will gather opinion and evidence from a wide range of people about how the co-operative council might work in practice, and what services would benefit from a co-operative approach.

It will identify new services where the cooperative model can be piloted, and will explore how the approach can be rolled out across further service areas later this year. All the Commissioners have vast experience and knowledge of public services and can offer guidance, advice and challenge proposals put forward during this process.

As well as the eight independent Commissioners, the Commission includes three members of Lambeth’s Cabinet, Councillor Steve Reed, Councillor Jackie Meldrum and Councillor Paul McGlone.

The Commission will meet throughout July, September and October and deliberate on the Co-operative council proposals. In addition, members of the public will have an opportunity to present their views directly to the Commissioners at its first public meeting on 29 July at Lambeth Town Hall from 6pm – 8.30pm. Email cooperativecouncil@lambeth.gov.uk if you wish to attend. Alternatively members of the public can also take part in one of the many consultation events that are taking place over the coming months. Details of these events can be found on our ‘How to share your views on the Co-operative Council’ page.

The commission will run until October and will develop its report in November outlining its findings and recommendations on how project can go forward. This will be considered by Lambeth Council’s Cabinet at their 13 December meeting, before a further three month consultation process is undertaken to get detailed resident feedback on the reports recommendations.

Councillor Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council, said; “I’m excited about what we can achieve in Lambeth with our co-operative approach, and I’m delighted that we will be able to draw on a huge wealth of experience and knowledge from some outstanding individuals who are all leaders in their respective fields.

“The Co-operative approach is about developing a model that protects high quality and affordable services for everyone in the community, by empowering them with more involvement in delivering some public services. It’s based on the view that when citizens take control, services get better.

“Reductions on national funding mean we need to drive this community-led agenda forward even faster.”

Lambeth started a major public debate on its plans when it launch a white paper in May that formed the starting point of a debate on the future of public services in the borough.




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