Having a say on better services

People from all parts of the community are having a say on how Tameside Council can work more closely with others to deliver better services.

The council this week achieved membership of the Co-operative Councils’ Innovation Network (CCIN) - a membership based, non-party political network established to promote the delivery of local services in a co-operative or co-productive way.

Representatives from local public sector, voluntary and community organisations met on Thursday, with elected members and council officers at Dukinfield Town Hall, for the Tameside Co-operative Council Summit to share their ideas and insights on how to further develop cooperative working.

In the face of funding cuts, Co-operative Councils aim to transform local public services from a top-down system to a co-operative approach involving collective action, co-operation, empowerment and enterprise.

Over 100 representatives attended the half-day summit which included presentations from the Tameside Council Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Andrew Gwynne MP and Nicola Huckerby and Cllr Martin Judd, both representing Cooperative Councils Innovation Network.

The summit involved group work, discussions and a “market-stall” style showcase of existing co-operative projects in Tameside. Attendees, which included representatives from Tameside Youth Council, provided important feedback on how the council can continue to liaise with local partners, voluntary and community groups to increase and improve co-operative working across the borough.

Some of the co-operative projects which held a stall at the summit included Tameside Armed Services Community, The Grafton Centre, The Together Centre, Tameside Youth Council, Cashbox Credit Union, Home Start, the Partnership Engagement Network, Community Response and the Mental Wellbeing Collaborative. More information on current local co-operative projects can be found at https://www.tameside.gov.uk/coopcouncil.

Although the precise model varies by service, it is believed that co-operative approaches can be applied to almost every aspect of local government, including community regeneration, economic development, youth services, housing, leisure, social services and education.

Cllr Brenda Warrington said: “We’re delighted to have achieved membership of the Co-operative Councils’ Innovation Network, which recognises our commitment to cooperative working and passion to develop it further. The Summit has been a great opportunity to showcase how cooperative working is already improving people’s lives in Tameside as well as share and explore ideas for where else we can embrace this model of collaborative working to have a positive impact and ensure residents remain central to service delivery.

“There has already been lots of inspiring discussions and feedback from our partners and the local community and we will continue to welcome suggestions and comments. I’m excited to see where – working together - we can take this next.”

In addition to the Summit, engagement with the public has taken place, or is scheduled to take place, at community groups, schools and colleges. People can also provide their views on the principles of co-operative councils and suggestions for further ways of co-operative working via the feedback survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ccintmbc

More information about the Co-operative Councils’ Innovation Network can be found at https://www.tameside.gov.uk/coopcouncil.

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