Coop connections

Coop connections

As many of you will know, the Cooperative Party is closely affilliated to the Labour Party and several MPs are joint Labour and Cooperative representatives, including the current Labour Party Chair, Anneliese Dobbs.

A full listing can be found by clicking here…

Folkestone and Hythe CLP maintains a comradely relationship with the Coop Party in Kent and SE Region, including provision recently agreed for a named Coop Party delegate or liaison representative.

Much of our local agenda shows the close connections we have with our communities and with shared values.

The following notes and observations are provided by our Secretary, Jane Darling, who attended the Coop Party conference on 20th November 2021.

Community Power in Action – Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson

12 Ideas for Local Government- Richard McCready, Political Officer Co-op Party for more details and advice.

  1. Credit union Network in Liverpool
  2. Charter against modern slavery
  3. Supporting Liverpool Victoria to avoid de-mutualisation
  4. Need to share opportunities across the city, lots of good development and facilities concentrated in the city centre
  5. Communities promised more power- decisions to be made locally
  6. 20-minute neighbourhoods, everything accessible within a 20 minute walk.
  7. Next generation focus, but not siloing, working co-operatively across generations.
  8. Repair Shops
  9. Active travel hubs
  10. Importance of good library provision
  11. Community coffee shops 
  12. Mutual aid groups in each neighbourhood 
  13. Fair taxes on local businesses. 

Councillor Sharon Taylor (Leader, Labour and Co-op Parties ) – Stevenage Borough Council

  1. Town centre regeneration
  2. Build Council homes
  3. Co-op Innovations Network – fastest growing network in the country- 9million people involved:
    1. 2012 new model for Local Government, based on local participation 
    1. Associate member – usually Labour Groups not yet in power
    1. Policy labs and prototypes
    1. Publications

Panel Discussion

Panel Members: Cllr Dolna Cornell (Stroud)*, Joanne Cairns (USDAW), Paul Gerrard (Co-op Group).

  1. Virtual visitors centre- Stevenage
  2. Community Wealth Building – social, economic and climate change commitments
  3. Junction7 creatives

      Councils with no overall control can work in partnership

      Findings from Community consultation:

People are more interested in the place they live in

Threats for the High Street-

  • Lack of transparency concerning ownership of land and buildings. 
  • Many owners live out of the area. Large number of empty premises, 
  • High rents for small businesses. 
  • Lack of council funding for development 

The Holistic Picture – look at what a person needs and try to supply it-





Health and well-being

Bringing life to our shopping areas and reclaiming the streets in the evenings:

  • University of Gloucester has moved it’s campus into a local High Street. Social enterprises with young people being mentored to run their own enterprises
  • Using the market place – changing shop opening times, getting musicians to entertain, local shops becoming community hubs, Tourism office moving round local market places and high streets.
  • Local Procurement
  • Build around local identity
  • Shop workers suffering a great deal of abuse. Shopping centres need to be safe for business owners, shop staff and shoppers.

Stevenage engages young people by having a Youth Council and Mayor.

Cllr Joanna West (Derby City Council)

Food justice project promoting Healthy Start vouchers supplied by County Councils for families.

Cllr. Alex Paterson( Medway Council)

Suggested using the Localism Act which gives power to local communities to buy an asset. The Co-op party have more information on this on their website.

Advice: Make everybody a winner when trying to get something through the Council. Be seen to represent common sense values.

Keynote Speaker, Steve Reed MP- (Shadow Secretary of State for levelling up communities and Local Government. Since November ’21, Shadow Justice Secretary)

Ours is one of the most centralised government structures. Whitehall does not understand other cities and regions. Gordon Brown has been commissioned to conduct an enquiry into the distribution of power across the country. Labour has got to show that the party trusts the people. Show this country that there is a better way by sharing power in local communities. He gave the following examples – Plymouth has set up 30 energy co-ops; another council will not give contracts to Care companies unless they pay their carers for travelling time between clients. 

Remake policies around people.

 Jane Darling (notes taken contemporaneously at the online Conference)

3 January 2021.


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