Saturday, November 01, 2014

Cooperative Councils Innovation Network - new Chair ;-)

In all the post-referendum melee; I've completely failed to mention that at the end of September (at their AGM) I was elected as the new Chair of the Coooperative Councils Innovation Network (CCIN) ... I've posted before about the Network (here, and links therein) and, obviously, the whole Cooperative-agenda is at the heart of the political programme that the current (local) Labour/SNP Capital Coalition is attempting to facilitate.

I'm thus delighted to have been elected as Chair of the CCIN - my brief Chair's message can be found here, and I'll simply reproduce the text below as well:


Message From the Chair

As a council leader, a ward councillor, and a member of my local community, I understand the scale of the challenges that we are all facing locally.

Many communities are disengaged from local democracy; councils can seem like distant bureaucracies; and, as organisations, we as councils are struggling to manage huge funding reductions just as local people are putting more and more demand on local services.

If councils are going to survive in this context, and if communities are going to thrive, then we all need to start doing things differently. We need to work together, in genuine and equal partnership with local people, to make the most of the strengths that lie in our communities. We need to step out of the town hall and back into communities to tackle old issues in new ways. Most importantly, we must drive real innovation, with local people at its core, if we are to face the challenges ahead of us.

This is exactly why the Co-operative Councils Innovation Network exists. We believe that the co-operative principles of empowerment, equal partnership, and collective action offer a positive route not simply to survive through tough times, but to enable local communities to thrive, supported by relevant, meaningful, and empowering local public services.

The network gives us the opportunity to share what works, learning from each others’ practical experiences to translate cutting-edge policy thinking into hands-on practice right across the country. Our work is defining the future of local public services – not for local people, but with local people – and putting local people back at the heart of what we do.

Cllr Andrew Burns
Chair of the Co-operative Councils Innovation Network
Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council


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