Councillor Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council, is in Edinburgh to talk about his experience of leading a co-operative council, we’re delighted to confirm that the Edinburgh Labour Group have been formally accepted as a Member of the Co-operative Councils Network.
Edinburgh Labour is the first Scottish Labour Group to formally join the network, and does so during the International Year of Co-operatives.
The Co-operative Council Network is open by invitation to Labour-led councils that are implementing co-operative policies and service delivery models, and Labour Groups in opposition that are advocating or campaigning for co-operative policies and models in their local authority area.
The Network is thus made up of a group of leading Labour local authorities (and opposition groups) who are driving forward new co-operative approaches to transform the way local public services are delivered in their areas.
These Labour councils aim to reclaim the founding traditions of the Labour and Co-operative movements – of collective action and co-operation, of empowerment and enterprise, in order to help transform local services and local communities. They are determined to end the era of top-down services where people are expected to put up with whatever is on offer. In future, residents, rather than Council officials, will be in the driving seat.
The Network acts as a forum where councils and councillors supporting this approach can share new thinking and work together to drive change in their local areas. It is led jointly by the Co-operative Party and the Local Government Association (LGA) Labour Group.
Commenting on today’s confirmation of Edinburgh Labour’s membership, Councillor Andrew Burns (Labour Group Leader in Edinburgh) said:
“I’m absolutely delighted that Edinburgh Labour has become the first Labour group in Scotland to formally join the Co-operative Councils Network. It’s particularly appropriate that we do so during the International Year of Co-operatives.
“We’ve already benefited from the informal friendship, and assistance, that Lambeth Council has shown us in recent months – but full Network membership means we will now have access to a far wider range of information, materials and expertise from across the country as we strive towards establishing Edinburgh as the first Co-operative Council in Scotland.”