Labour presents its own cooperative ideas

By staff

Labour has hit back at the Conservative land-grab on its political territory on Monday by presenting its own ideas on cooperative structures.

On Monday, the Tories promised to allow public sector workers to set up cooperatives in a move it said would become the latter day equivalent of Margaret Thatcher’s 80s council house sale.

Today, it appears Lambeth council will be the test bed for a new scheme of ‘John Lewis-style’ cooperation.

Users of its services will not become shareholders like John Lewis staff, but local residents who contribute to the running of services could see their council tax payment reduced.

The council points to research showing employees and users become far less tolerant of waste and inefficiency once they are involved in the provision of a service.

Service users and local residents would be able to vote on turning local services like primary schools and Sure Start centres into citizen-controlled mutuals.
Tenants on housing estates would be able to set up cooperatives.

Lambeth now looks set to go head-to-head with Barnet, where Tories are piloting an ‘Easyjet’ version of local councils which sees residents use services along business models pioneered by budget airlines.