At next years Borough Council elections in North Warwickshire, Labour will be standing in all 35 seats but this time round, a majority of our candidates will be Labour and Co-operative. It might possibly be the first time that Labour and the Co-Operative Party are standing joint candidates at an ordinary election in North Warwickshire but in many parts of the country, it’s pretty common.

Its probably useful to know about how the Co-Operative Party began;

The Co-operative Party’s roots go back to 1844, when the ‘Rochdale Pioneers’ founded the first modern co-operative, based on principles still in use today.

That first store grew into a movement with millions of members. During World War I, co-ops faced discrimination from a government dominated by private business. In 1917, the movement set up the Co-operative Party to represent and defend itself, and to promote our values in the wider economy and society.

Since 1927, the Party has had an electoral agreement with Labour Party. This enables us to stand joint candidates in elections, recognising our shared values and maximising our impact.

Some may ask, why? The answer is simple, co-operation, team work and putting people before profit are all morals and principles that all Labour candidates hold but they are also principles that we have to put into practice when we take control of North Warwickshire Borough Council next May.

Over the last four years, the Tories have ran North Warwickshire Borough Council as an old boys club, doing things to people instead of with them. When it comes to difficult decisions, they’ve tried to make them in private, to push many things through without consultation and when they have consulted they’ve rarely then listened. A Tory Government with a hatred for local services means less money locally. The answer to finding savings is not to do what the Tories do, it’s not to close services and scale back others.

Co-operation is going to be key to the next Labour Council, as we seek to work with partners and residents to not only maintain but also to improve key public services at a time when budgets are being reduced. When you look across the country at what Labour and Co-operative Councils are achieving for local people, it’s clear that by working together and thinking outside the box, local authorities can achieve more, even in times of austerity.

In North Warwickshire, there are 8 months until the election and over that time, our Labour and Co-operative candidates will set out our plan for the future of this Borough, producing the a detailed manifesto so local people can read our plan and of course, hold us to account.