Co-operative values can help meet some of the most pressing challenges faced by Londoners, say key Labour figures

Today leading figures from the Labour and Co-operative Parties among others, will say that co-operative values and approaches can help meet some of the most pressing challenges faced by Londoners – from the cost of childcare to our chronic housing shortage.

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Writing in a series of essays published today key figures including Jon Cruddas MP, Tessa Jowell MP and Mayoral Candidate David Lammy MP; council leaders Lib Peck, Claire Kober and Richard Watts; London Assembly Member Val Shawcross; and others from the co-operative and voluntary sectors; make the case that co-operative solutions can help meet some of London’s challenges but also make the case that they are in tune with modern London’s values.

The book of essays is edited by Steve Reed MP and Gareth Thomas MP two of London’s Labour and Co-operative MPs.  When Steve Reed was the Leader of Lambeth Council it became the first Co-operative Council in Britain – the Co-operative Councils Innovation Network now has 20 members with councils from Edinburgh, to Cardiff, to Sunderland, to Plymouth to Stevenage applying co-operative values to how they design and run their services and work with communities.

The essays aim to begin to shape the policy debate in London ahead of the 2016 London Mayoral Election and will be published at an event in Westminster tonight.

Authors speaking at the event on Tuesday evening include David Lammy MP (who only last week declared that he wants to be Labour’s candidate for Mayor of London) on the potential role of co-operative housing; and Dame Tessa Jowell MP on co-operative childcare. Lib Peck, leader of Lambeth Council, will speak on the role of co-operative energy.

The 15 essays also argue for a greater role for co-operative values and approaches in schools, support for business start-ups, strengthening communities, reducing energy bills,  improving London’s transport and Londoner’s health.

In his essay David Lammy says,

“Publicly owned urban regeneration sites…should be given to community land trusts… rather than developers or international investors. Housing co-operatives are absolutely consistent with this.”

Dame Tessa Jowell, focuses on how a co-operative nursery owned by parents and staff, with the local authority as a guarantor, could ensure that profits reduce fees. She explains,

“Embracing co-operative childcare could lead to better care for lower cost, more flexible hours and smaller facilitates located in mixed communities – just what London families need.”

Speaking about the launch of the book Steve Reed said:

“Londoners face some really tough challenges in the years ahead.  We desperately need creative solutions, fresh thinking and an approach which draws on all the resources available – including those within communities themselves.  Councils and communities across the capital have already shown that they are at the cutting edge of developing new ways of doing things that can improve people’s lives even in straightened times, and in many cases in London and elsewhere in the country it is co-operative values which have underpinned this work.”

And Gareth Thomas said:

“A capital city with co-operative values at its heart can be a fairer, greener and more prosperous place for every Londoner – an argument made in a compelling way by the authors of these essays.”

[ENDS]


 

For further information please call Julianne Marriott on 07976 821960

Notes to editors

  1. Co-operative Capital will be launched Tuesday, 9 September, 2014 6:00-7:30pm Conference Room C, 1 Parliament Street, London SW1A 2NE
  2. A copy of Co-operative Capital can be requested from Julianne Marriott j.marriott@party.coop or 07976 821960.
  3. The Co-operative Party is the political arm of the co-operative movement and Labour’s sister party
  4. There are 32 Labour Co-operative MPs, 9 Welsh Assembly Labour Co-operative members, and over a 1000 Labour Co-operative local councillors.
  5. For more info go to www.party.coop