Suma and Cooperatives at the Heart of Politics
Suma member, Bob Cannell, found himself at the heart of the Tory/Liberal coalition’s Big Society politics on Wednesday. Bob (who is a Cooperatives UK board member) was in a meeting of European cooperative representatives in Brussels when news came through on Twitter from the UK Cabinet Office that messrs. Cameron and Clegg were serious about using worker coops to deliver public services.
Bob asked the delegates if they would help us and received an enthusiastic Yes from several countries and the news twittered and blogged it’s way back to the UK within minutes of the original announcement. Hows that for reaction time!? Cooperatives UK now have pan-European support to promote proper cooperatives to the government as the way forward.
Note – It is common in Italy and Spain for public services to be delivered by ‘social cooperatives’ which are owned and controlled by a mixed membership of workers, users and funders. They find this to be a safer way to use public money to provide good services and good jobs. We only have a few coops like this in the UK.