‘Building Co-operative Communities’ is not just the theme of our Party’s upcoming Local Government Conference, but it something which is at the very core of our Party and movement.

During last month’s local elections, our Party delivered a record number of Co-op Councillors and Mayors across the country, with 1 in 13 of our members putting themselves forward to represent our Party and movement. The election resulted in nearly 1 in 5 of Labour Councillors representing both the Labour and Co-operative Parties – a truly remarkable position.

But to what end does our Party seek this representation? Well, it is to build more co-operative communities.

We are clear in our aim and clear in our approaches to achieve this – and as a movement, we know what we must do:

1. Harness the enabling potential of local government for co-operative development. We must be alert to new opportunities for developing the co-operative sector and show the political leadership that it requires.

2. Unleash local co-operative solutions to help tackle the climate crisis. Community energy provides so many answers to so many questions posed. We must be brave to lead this revolution, so future generations can benefit its rewards.

3. Draw upon our values and principles to shape and inform Local Government behaviour and approaches in the area of fair tax. Together, we have the ability to create Fair Tax Councils across the country and take positive practical action to ensure that only firms paying their fair share of tax are the trusted and go-to partners in local procurement.

4. Draw inspiration from our movement in the regeneration of our high streets. Our movement holds the answers to embolden and enable community ownership. The Co-operative Party’s ‘Unlock the High Street’ Campaign has the resources, motions and approaches to make a real difference in this area.

All this work will not only help build co-operative communities up and down the country, but do so much more.

This Saturday at our Local Government Conference, we will explore these ideas, educate one another, and give the practical tools and support for our Party’s representatives and activists to take to their own communities – something we do well and in a unique way.

There will of course be more for the Party achieve in local government over the coming weeks, months and years, but building co-operative communities will be the ribbon which ties it all together.