Cooperation is key to moving forward

Plans to create a Cooperative Capital in Edinburgh have taken a major step forward following a meeting of the City of Edinburgh Council yesterday (25 October).

The aim of the Cooperative Capital is to encourage communities, partners and those using Council services to become more involved in how these services are planned, managed and delivered.

Councillors approved a report, Framework to Advance a Cooperative Capital 2012/17, which sets out key themes to achieving this goal.

A major focus of the work taking place in coming months is a commitment to developing more cooperative societies in the city to deliver energy, housing, social care and child care services.

Council Leader, Cllr Andrew Burns, said the radical new approach will give local people a greater sense of choice and control over the public services they use.

He said: "This cooperative approach is in essence a shift in power which will put people much more at the centre of decision-making. It will provide the opportunity to develop new and imaginative ways of supporting communities and delivering services.

"One of the key pledges of the Capital Coalition is to develop a more cooperative approach. We realise that we need to have a really fresh think about how we do business as a local authority so we can put the public back in the driving seat.

"I am convinced this new partnership with local people will improve public services and strengthen local communities. It is important we work with our communities to make sure local services meet their needs."

Yesterday's report follows on from the successful Cooperative Edinburgh event held last month. Speakers included Steve Reed, leader of Lambeth Council, who has championed the concept of Cooperative Councils, and Co-operative Development Scotland.

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