polling station poster on clear glass door
Photo by Elliott Stallion on Unsplash

The local elections last week saw our biggest number of co-operative candidates standing across the country. Millions had the chance to vote for co-operation and they did, returning a record number of over 1200 Co-operative Councillors to office. This was especially true in Scotland and Wales where we saw the number of Co-op Councillors double, following on from record parliamentary co-operative groups elected last year.

Every candidate can be proud of the part they played in promoting our movement. Even if not elected, our candidates took the co-operative message out into their community through leaflets, media and thousands of conversations. Thank you to everyone who proudly stood as a candidate.

In every nation and region we increased the overall number of co-operative councillors, including all fourteen of our candidates in Barnet, our largest group of Co-op Councillors in Birmingham and a remarkable 49 Councillors on Greenwich Council.

There were also Mayoral elections, which saw the re-election of Damien Egan in Lewisham, Philip Glanville in Hackney and Rokhsana Fiaz in Newham. They were also joined by Oliver Coppard who became the new Mayor of South Yorkshire with a majority of over 80,000 over the Conservative.

Over the last four years, we have seen the difference co-operators can make in government – from community wealth building and harnessing the purchasing power of local authorities for good to changing the law on modern slavery. As we look forward to the challenges of the next four years, it will be co-operative solutions that will help our local communities through difficult times – campaigning for fairer tax, access to food, rebuilding our high streets, enabling community energy and building resilience through devolving more power and wealth.

The hard work starts now to stand alongside residents through what will be a difficult year.