WHAT IS THE REAL MEANING OF CO-OPERATIVE?
David Cameron’s move to push co-operatives is all talk and no action. He constantly refers to the John Lewis model where the staff are partners and have a say in running the company. Yet the government rejected the idea of remutualising Northern Rock and have sold the bank to Virgin Money, with a US company having a 44% stake alone.
His use of the word mutual is also grossly misleading. In November 2010, Circle Healthcare was the first private company to run a NHS hospital. The government class this company as mutual because 51% is owned by investors and the rest by the workers. Yet the workers have a stake but no control. This is privatisation under the guise of the mutual label.
The Green Party have rejected both the idea of co-operative trust schools locally and opposed rail network mutualisation.
Brighton & Hove City Labour Party councillors are all members of the Co-operative Party, which is the sister party of Labour. Our Labour and Co-operative councillors are committed to promote co-operatives and all forms of mutual organisations where you can have your say how they are run.
Chair, Brighton & Hove Co-operative Party
The Co-op There are thousands of businesses in the UK run on mutual lines, but these food stores and their other businesses have no connection with the Co-operative Party. In the city Infinity Foods, in North Road, is another example of a food store that is a co-operative.
Mutual is where the members or customers derive a right to vote, say how the organisation or company is run and where applicable receive profits.
Co-operative NHS Foundation Trusts The Co-operative Party has ensured patient, staff and community participation in over 130 trusts.
Supporters Direct The Co-operative Party was instrumental in setting up this organisation, giving football fans a say in running their clubs. 160 clubs are now taking part, with over 250,000 members.
Housing Community Land Trusts, run by volunteers, develop affordable housing through the control of housing costs and resale prices. Members hold shares and when they leave the co-operative they are entitled to take the equity they have built up with them.
Schools There are now more than 140 co-operative schools in the country. Every parent has a vote and schools can join together to reduce costs buying in materials.
Sure Start This was one of the Labour Governments finest achievements, transforming the way services are delivered for young children and their families. There are more than 3,000 centres throughout the country, but the ones in the city are under threat from the Green Party’s review in their budget for 2012/13. Sure Start provides services which, through a co-operative model help remove barriers and trust. Consequently, the organisation is more accessible to people who otherwise would be less likely to use the services.