What are you doing to support Co-operatives Fortnight?

Knowsley Council is supporting national Co-operatives Fortnight, which takes place from 17 June to 1 July 2017.

So much more can be achieved by working together. That’s why the council, along with 22 other councils, has signed up to the Co-operative Councils Innovation Network – a collaboration between local authorities who are committed to finding better ways of working for, and with, local people for the benefit of their local community.

Co-operatives Fortnight aims to raise awareness of how working together has made a difference.

Co-operative working is continually being embedded in the council’s day-to-day work, but throughout Co-operatives Fortnight, it will help to raise awareness and encourage residents and businesses to do the same by showcasing examples and outlining what has been achieved. Put simply, becoming a co-operative borough is about everybody doing their bit and everybody benefitting.

Examples of Knowsley Council working co-operatively with residents and other stakeholders includes:-

· Through ‘dress down Friday’, staff donate each month to local charities or good causes and a council-wide food collection regularly takes place to support the Knowsley Foodbank.

· The council has also created a Community Environmental Challenge Fund where local community groups can work with their local councillors in order to access funding to make a difference to the environment in their local neighbourhoods. A limited amount of grants of up to £1,500 will be available to local groups in each council ward. Communities, working with their ward councillors, will develop ideas to improve their local environment. The fund would provide cash support for ‘tidy up’ projects reducing litter, dog fouling or fly tipping, schemes to improve the appearance of a neighbourhood and ‘green’ schemes, such as improved recycling or waste reduction.

· Some initiatives are already underway as part of the Community Environmental Challenge Fund. This includes St John’s in Bloom project which is recruiting and training volunteers to make, sell and display hanging baskets in the local community; Cronton Pathways project which is bringing people together to restore a number of key focal heritage points in the town; and Whiston Paradise Lane which is redeveloping wasteland into an environmentally friendly community garden.

· Introduction of the Living Wage so that no-one who works for the council full-time earns less than the local cost of living.

· Setting up Knowsley Youth Mutual to deliver youth services and the creation of Volair to deliver leisure services across the borough.

· Procurement practices have been reviewed and updated to better incorporate social value considerations. All tenders and quotations include a section on how social value can be incorporated into the contract.

Cllr Andy Moorhead, Leader of Knowsley Council, said “We know that we can make a real difference and achieve so much more when we all pull together, pool our resources, expertise and funding.

That’s why the council embeds co-operative working in our day-to-day working and I would encourage residents and businesses across Knowsley to take a look at what they can do to support Co-operative Fortnight and take the first steps to change the way they do things.”

If you’d like to take part in Co-operatives Fortnight and share your story, or find out more, visit www.uk.coop/promoting-co-ops or follow #coopstories on Twitter.

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