issue 58 • october/november 2003
pride and prejudice in darlington
also in this issue
rural social enterprise joining the mainstream
co-operative approaches to sustainability
social economy in northern ireland
plus news from community and co-operative projects in the UK
New Sector aims to promote the principles
and practice of collective enterprise, Community Business Scotland Network
common ownership, co-operation and Princes House, 5 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh EH2 4RG
tel 0131 229 7257 fax 0131 221 9798
community control. www.cbs-network.org.uk
In particular, it will promote enterprises
whose governance, management and
ownership are characterised by democratic
and participative structures at worker,
community and member levels. This is how Co-operatives UK
it defines its sector. Holyoake House, Hanover Street, Manchester M60 0AS
tel 0161 246 2900 fax 0161 831 7684
New Sector is a joint venture between
Community Business Scotland Network,
Social Economy Agency Northern Ireland
and Wales Co-operative Centre.
23 Hanborough Business Park, Long Hanborough, Oxfordshire OX29 8SG
tel 01993 883636 fax 01993 883576
Community & Co-operative Enterprise
Publishing & Research Ltd.
ISSN No 09662197
Subscriptions and registered office:
Princes House, 5 Shandwick Place,
Edinburgh EH2 4RG
tel 0131 229 7257 fax 0131 221 9798
Social Economy Agency NI
Editorial and production: 2 Bay Road, Derry, BT48 7SH
1 Red Hill Villas, Durham, DH1 4BA tel 028 7137 1733 fax 028 7137 0114
tel 0191 375 0101, fax 0191 375 0202 www.socialeconomyagency.org
sponsored by poptel 0800 4589465, email@example.com
Wales Co-operative Centre Ltd
Editorial team: Alan Tuffs, Anne Malloy, David Parker,
Graham Mitchell, Helen Seymour, Ian Hunter,
Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru Cyf
Jeanette Timmins, Richard Moreton,
Sarah Louise Taylor, Simon Harris Wales Co-operative Centre
Editing and design: Alpha Communication, Durham Llandaff Court, Fairwater Road, Cardiff CF5 2XP
Printed by: Russell Press, Nottingham, on recycled paper. tel 029 2055 4955 fax 029 2055 6170
New Sector is grateful for the support of the Co-operative Group
2 • NEW SECTOR • issue 58 • october/november 2003
in this issue co-ops target public sector
The cover photograph shows happy
children playing football. It could be
anywhere - it happens to be a deprived
estate in Darlington. And the occasion
is a regular Saturday training session
arranged by the local community
partnership. This is regeneration in
practice - local people being given the
power, resources and guidance to make
a lasting difference to their communities.
And thankfully the people of Red Hall
estate, like many others elsewhere, have
realised that engaging with the kids is
part of the solution and not part of the
problem (see pages 10 and 11).
It’s conference season again, and so in
this issue we preview three important
events in the social enterprise calendar Photograph courtesy of Greenwich Leisure, one of the first examples of a co-operative
in England, Scotland and Wales (see solution to public service provision
pages 8, 9 and 13). It may seem a long
way from the conference hall to the Co-operatives UK, the national apex organisation for co-operatives, has expanded
housing estate, but there is a link. The and relaunched its project to promote and support co-operative public service
issues discussed in conferences can and provision under the title ‘Provide’. At a time when all political parties are turning
do become part of local and national their attention to the public sector, the co-operative movement is offering a solution.
government policies and procedures, When the project started last year it initially concentrated on co-operative provision of care
but it is a slow process. More services. The renamed ‘Provide’ project gives equal emphasis to housing, social care, childcare,
health, education, waste management and leisure.
immediately such conferences facilitate
‘Provide’ is a project, a service and a mission. It aims to bring together service users, employees
the informal sharing of information in a
and local communities for mutual benefit and improved public services. The new publicity states
rapidly developing sector whose the position of Co-operatives UK and its project partners as follows.
structures, where they exist, are racing “We all want high quality services which:
to catch up with events on the ground. • Are cost effective
We are delighted to report that New • Meet the needs and aspirations of the people and communities they serve
Sector’s partner in Northern Ireland, the • Empower employees and service users
Social Economy Agency, has secured • Entrench a commitment to public sector values
• Eliminate the problems of privatisation.
government backing and financial
If specific public services are no longer to be provided directly by the state, then co-operatives
support to set up a network and forum
have a major role to play in retaining service delivery in the hands of local communities.”
for the social economy in Northern
Ireland. This follows many years of PRACTICAL SUPPORT
determined lobbying which had to
overturn entrenched The outputs of the ‘Provide’ project include publications (the first was Options for Co-operative
attitudes and old ways of Care published in October 2002), seminars and a support service. The aim is to provide a
thinking. When I comprehensive package of practical advice, support and expert consultancy to anyone
considering the co-operative option for public service provision. Support services range from free
telephone advice to exploratory workshops for all stakeholders to detailed feasibility studies.
manager of the agency,
“Over the last year we have had enquiries from over 20 local authorities” said Helen Seymour
she said “now the hard of Co-operatives UK. “Some of this work is still ongoing and we are hopeful that it will lead to the
work begins.” creation of several new public service co-operatives.”
‘Provide’ is financed mostly by a grant from Co-operative Action. Additional income is derived
Yours in co-operation, from consultancy fees, although much of the consultancy work is subsidised. The project is planned
David Parker to run to 2005, although this is partly dependent on the uptake of the service. Current indications
Editor are that there is a big demand for the subsidised consultancy service. Local authorities and others
considering co-operative public service provision are advised to contact Co-operatives UK as soon
Front cover picture: Football training
Contact Helen Shaw 0161 246 2941, firstname.lastname@example.org,
organised by Red Hall Partnership in
Darlington (see pages 10 - 11)
october/november 2003 • issue 58 • NEW SECTOR • 3
calls for care
Global relief and development agency
CARE International UK has joined forces
with The Phone Co-op, the UK’s only
telecommunications co-operative, in a
partnership that will bring CARE supporters
savings on phone bills and forward CARE’s
work in tackling world poverty.
CARE supporters will be able to save up to
84 percent on their phone calls and internet
charges and support the charity at no extra
cost to themselves. To do this, all they have
to do is sign up via CARE’s website
(www.careinternational.org.uk), which has
a direct link to The Phone Co-op.
Every person who joins in this way ensures From left: Mick Davison, Alan Howell, Barrie Peters and Joe Bray of Eco Enterprises
that for every £10 they spend on calls,
CARE will receive 70p towards its
development programmes, which promote
positive and lasting change and reduce
Andrew Page, CARE marketing director Four friends from Sunderland and Durham have set up a successful conservation
said: “This new partnership provides an business, thanks to the help of Social Enterprise Sunderland (SES). Eco Enterprises
ideal opportunity for people to help some of Ltd, a co-operative and the first of its kind in the North East, uses traditional skills
the world’s poorest communities at no extra and applies them to environmental maintenance such as tree felling, scrub
cost to themselves – and they get cheaper clearance, grassland management and pond management.
phone bills.” Since its inception, the team have built up a high profile reputation across the region, securing
Contact The Phone Co-op 0845 458 9000 major contracts with a number of environmental and conservation organisations including the
National Trust, English Nature and Durham Wildlife Trust as well as South Tyneside and Sedgefield
councils. The team met when they all enrolled at CEED, part of Sunderland University's
childcare network Environmental course, where they each achieved an NVQ Level 2 in practical conservation.
A national network to co-ordinate Seeing a gap in the market for environmental maintenance where no machinery is used, they
co-operative approaches to childcare (a decided to put their skills to good use and with the help and encouragement of business start up
cause championed by New Sector) was advisors at SES, came up with the idea for Eco Enterprises Ltd.
launched in September with a £135,000 Alan Howell, a member of the co-operative said: "We all have a keen interest in the environment
grant from Co-operative Action. The and wildlife, but it wasn't until we went on the course that we realised we could make a successful
network will be co-ordinated by Margaret living and at the same time help to improve our beautiful countryside. Our work takes us to all
Lucas and the workers co-operative kinds of exciting sites, many of which are SSSI, sites of special scientific interest, which is a
Enterprise Solutions. Speaking at the Government backed initiative which aims to help to protect rare species of wildlife."
Co-operative Party conference in Newcastle "We want to make the countryside a pleasurable place for people to visit and this is our way of
Margaret Lucas said: “There are already helping to preserve what nature intended...Without the help of Social Enterprise Sunderland we
some excellent childcare co-operatives in wouldn't be where we are today. Not only did they help us devise a financial plan and research
various parts of the country. The aim of the the market to see whether our idea was feasible, but the also funded a course on pesticides and
network is to pool our knowledge and helped us all to achieve NVQ level 2 and 3 in Business Management”.
examples of best practice. Contact Eco Enterprises 07974 010807
“Over the next three years we hope to see
an increase in the number of childcare
co-ops and an improvement in the specialist community crop
support available to them.” CROP Gardens, a new community business, is setting up in Plymouth to meet the needs for
Contact Margaret Lucas 01604 647732 transitional and sometimes long-term employment for people with mental health issues.
The business has been formed to continue the work of CROP, a therapeutic, horticultural project
trip to san francisco for people with mental health issues, that was until recently part of Plymouth's Primary Care Trust
services for those with mental health issues.
Entries are invited for the Upstarts Awards Sharon Claridge, a project leader at Routeways, said "CROP Gardens will be a real business,
for social enterprise. All six award winners not a project, encouraging a sense of commitment and ownership amongst those who will be
will be going to San Francisco on a working working there as volunteers.”
trip. Nominations are open to all until Set up on land owned by the Primary Care Trust (PCT), but given long-term for free, CROP
January 2004. Gardens will have two paid supervisory staff seconded from the NHS, plus five volunteers with
Contact www.upstarts.org.uk mental health issues, who will be able to build skills for mainstream employment.
Contact Sharon Claridge, Project Leader, Routeways for more information on 01752 300237
4 • NEW SECTOR • issue 58 • october/november 2003
co-op pub, cash for wood
co-op beer ‘n’ stuff
A remarkable project that combines
The village of Hesket
a daycare centre for disabled people
Newmarket in Cumbria
with community education, training,
further increased its reputation
production and sales, has been given
as an icon of community
a cash advance to develop a second
co-operation in August when
base in Suffolk.
the locals took over the
Wood ‘n’ Stuff, a sheltered workshop
running of the pub.
co-operative in Station Hill, Bury St
Regulars at the Old Crown had
Edmunds, has been given a £15,000 loan
feared that their local might close
from Co-operative Action - the independent
down or fall into the hands of a big
fund set up last year to support the growth
brewery chain after it went up for
of co-operative enterprises.
sale, and so they formed a
The workshop co-operative, set up in
co-operative to safeguard its future
1995, offers training, rehabilitation and
as a community business.
social therapy to its 110 members who
Nearly four years ago the villagers
regularly attend. Its members include
set up a community co-operative to
people with mental health problems,
continue production at the
learning difficulties, sensory and physical
independent Hesket Newmarket
disabilities, including stroke and accident
Brewery, also located at the Old
victims - all with different reasons for
Crown. Now the locals can enjoy
wanting to rebuild their lives.
beer brewed by their own co-op in a
Twelve carers, with volunteer help, teach
pub owned by their own co-op.
them to develop skills in arts and crafts,
Ownership by a community Pub and brewery and now owned by the community
woodworking, horticulture and computers.
co-operative will help preserve not
Together they produce 25 core products
only the independence and unique
including wooden garden furniture - from
character of the pub, but also allows the village of Hesket Newmarket to retain its sense of
bird tables and Wendy houses to planted
community and to ensure the village remains a vibrant place to live and work.
wheelbarrows and Welsh dressers. Their
Julian Ross, who led the bid by customers to take ownership of the pub, says: “People say they
commissioned items have included purpose
don’t care about the returns: they want to preserve something that’s important for the community.
built two-tier garden decking, a wishing
This is a cosy, friendly pub, which you can go into whether you’re wearing your wellies, walking
well, medieval stocks, a Russian gun
boots, or a suit, and you won’t come out without speaking to someone.”
carriage for a local theatre group, and a
Dame Pauline Green, chief executive of Co-operatives UK, said: “This new business shows just
fire engine toys for Romanian orphans.
how adaptable the co-operative model is to today’s business environment. Co-ops of all types are
Their shop and garden centre sells the
helping to deliver important services in communities across the UK. I am very happy that local
work and produce from four large
people are working together as a co-operative to ensure they keep one of their most valuable
greenhouses, “to help the running
community services – their pub.”
expenses,” says General Manager John
Hesket Newmarket Brewery is one of the case studies featured in Delivering Employee and
Morley, “but sales is not what we’re about.
Community Buyouts published by Co-operatives UK as part of the rural co-operation project.
We’ve evolved around the people who
Contact Hesket Newmarket Brewery 016974 78066
come to us and we’re here to encourage
Nicky Connell, rural co-operation project, Co-operatives UK 0161 246 2945
them to achieve their goals.”
The Co-operative Action loan is covering
the cost of fitting a kitchen and disabled
toilets, installing workshop equipment and
harold campbell honoured by housing co-op computers, widening doors, knocking down
CDS Co-operatives’ latest new-build development in Dartford, Kent, has been walls, building ramps, carpeting and
named in honour of CDS Co-operatives’ founder chair, Harold Campbell, who died decorating.
last year. “This is a co-operative enterprise with a
The Mayor of Dartford, Cllr Pat Coleman, officially opened Harold Campbell Court, a big heart,” says Jo Bird of Co-operative
development of 12 homes for rent, on 1 August 2003. The Mayor unveiled a commemorative Action. “Wood ‘n’ Stuff works in so many
plaque to Harold Campbell after his lifelong friend, Lord Graham of Edmonton PC, Honorary different areas and delivers so many
President of CDS Co-operatives, spoke about his friend’s life and work. different services that it’s impossible to fit it
The scheme was built on an old car park site bought from Dartford Borough Council. Social into a category. But the difference it makes,
housing grant for the new homes was provided jointly by Dartford Borough Council and The to the lives of the people who go there,
Housing Corporation. speaks for itself.”
CDS Co-operatives is the largest co-operative development and service agency in London and Contact Wood 'n' Stuff 01284 725656
the South of England managing 2,646 homes and providing services to 59 housing co-operatives. www.woodnstuff.co.uk
Contact Jane Cameron at CDS Co-operatives on 020 7397 5711, email@example.com
october/november 2003 • issue 58 • NEW SECTOR • 5
striking the balance workers buy firm to save jobs
Abbie Shelton looks ahead to the
‘Low cost loans’ is often the first
thought that often comes to mind
when credit unions are mentioned.
And the name ‘credit union’ doesn’t
do anything to dispel this
But savings are as important to the
financial health of individual members and
the overall health of the credit union, if not
Credit unions need to have a balance of
net savers and net borrowers to enable
them to satisfy their members’ needs at
different points in their lives.
Mobilising savings to tackle financial
exclusion is high on the political agenda,
and credit unions are ideally placed to
provide secure savings facilities for low
Some of the new owners: from left Irene Payton (company secretary), Richard Smith
and medium income consumers.
(managing director) and Allan Thomas (service engineer)
With this in mind, the theme for ABCUL’s
Autumn Conference is ‘Striking the
Balance - the need for savings Science Workshops, a Carmarthenshire based specialist in the repair, service and
mobilisation’. Lucy Ito, vice president of hiring of electrical equipment to the catering industry, has been saved from closure
the World Council of Credit Unions, is an thanks to an employee buyout organised by the Wales Co-operative Centre (WCC).
expert on savings mobilisation and she will The family owned company - which began life 32 years ago as atomic energy specialists - moved
be telling delegates: into the catering service sector with the advent of the microwave, and built up a steady business
• How savings mobilisation has been and enviable reputation despite being based in a location with little industry and few job
found to be a consistent, low cost opportunities. Indeed the company client base includes bars and restaurants from as far a field as
source of funds for a credit union, Milford Haven, Brecon and Bridgend.
which if managed properly can be a Science Workshop’s three long-serving employees were keen to continue the company legacy
guarantee of long-term stability after the 72-year-old company founder recently decided to retire. So, in a bid to ensure the survival
• How member and consumer access to of the business, WCC stepped in and worked closely with the employees to find a solution to the
voluntary, withdrawable and safe issue of succession.
savings facilities has a stabilising effect WCC negotiated between the company owner and the workforce to set up the deal and facilitate
on households the buy-out and also managed to secure additional funding for the business from ICOF (Industrial
• How to identify and attract savers, Common Ownership Finance).
improve the competitiveness of services Science Workshop’s new managing director Richard Smith, who started with the company as an
and attract a broad mix of members. apprentice when he was 16 said;
Delegates will also hear from Mary “To begin with, our main concern was that the company might close and that we’d lose our jobs.
Mulligan, deputy minister for communities We didn’t consider that we might be able to buy the business for ourselves and so once the Wales
in the Scottish Parliament, on the Scottish Co-operative Centre had outlined the opportunity, it seemed simply too good to refuse. We’re all
Executive’s vision for credit unions - now able to make our own decisions about the direction of the business, and while we’ve inherited
Unlocking the Potential - and will be able a solid client and market base, our aim is to grow it even further by offering an expanded service
to take part in a wide range of workshops. portfolio and marketing ourselves more aggressively.”
The conference takes place at the WCC’s succession specialist, Norman Watson, said: “Over 70% of all businesses are family
Radisson Hotel in Glasgow between 21 owned and it’s a common problem that the owner wants to retire or is perhaps forced to give up
and 23 November 2003. running a company due to ill health. The result can often be that a business just ceases to exist.”
Contact ABCUL, 0161 819 6983, email
Contact Science Workshops 01550 777324, Wales Co-operative Centre 029 2055 4955
In the last issue of New Sector the new fund for co-operative education
photograph on page 7 was incorrectly The Co-operative College Board of Management has agreed the initial priorities for the newly
captioned. The man pictured with staff of established Education Development Fund, which is set to provide support for educational
Cardiff Credit Union was not First Minister development and innovation in the co-operative community.
Rhodri Morgan. He was, of course, the The new fund builds on the positive legacy of the former National Co-operative Educational
Welsh comedian Owen Money. We Association (NCEA) and will support a number of worthwhile initiatives.
apologise for any embarrassment caused.
Contact Sue Haines, Secretary, Co-operative College, 0161 246 2909, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
6 • NEW SECTOR • issue 58 • october/november 2003
local harvest toilet paper for
Oxford Swindon and Gloucester Co-operative Society has chosen the Plunkett
Foundation’s Rural Revival campaign as the mechanism through which its ‘Local
Harvest’ initiative will support rural communities in its trading area.
Through the Local Harvest initiative, OSG Co-op stocks a range products in its retail network from
producers which are local to its own trading area. The scheme was launched earlier in the year
as a pilot initiative in selected stores. As an additional benefit to support local rural communities
from where the products originate, the scheme has now made a donation to Plunkett’s Rural Revival
campaign, to support the development of rural self-help enterprises as a sustainable solution to
rural regeneration. In this way consumers are able to support both local producers and the
communities in which they live.
Two thirds of the stores of Oxford, Swindon and Gloucester Co-op are located in rural areas and
small market towns, so there is already a close relationship between the Society and rural
residents. The Local Harvest scheme and its link with Rural Revival will strengthen these bonds still
further. The customers of one form of rural self-help enterprise are effectively supporting the
development of new co-operatives and rural self-help enterprises in a manner which is consistent
with fundamental co-operatives principles.
This is the second relationship between Rural Revival and other co-operatives in Oxfordshire.
Earlier, Plunkett concluded an affinity partnership with the Phone Co-op, based in Chipping
Norton, which allows subscribers to allocate 6% of the value of their calls to the Rural Revival
campaign. Again, the customers of one type of rural co-operatives are able in this way to support
the development of further rural self-help enterprises.
These two partnership relationships now mean that Rural Revival has funds available to support
fledgling self-help enterprises in rural Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
Contact Charlotte Gilman, Rural Revival Campaign Manager, 01993 883636
co-op predictions for 2013
John Goodman reports from the Society of Co-operative Studies conference
The Society of Co-operative Studies (SCS) has been around for over 30 years now.
In that time the co-operative movement has been through tumultuous changes and Compost toilet at Gordon Road
now it’s the SCS’s turn. There’s always been a small but active group of allotments, Bristol
co-operative academics brought together by the SCS, but, after lively discussions at
the AGM, the constitution has now been tidied up and the journal redesigned so The Allotments Regeneration
that the society can go on a recruiting drive. Initiative (ARI) has created a new
This year’s conference, at Leicester University in early September, considered the question: series of factsheets for those
‘Where will Co-ops be in 10 Years’ Time?’ engaged in allotments regeneration.
Keith Girling, the Co-operative Bank’s director ICT operations and services, telling the story of The first factsheet, entitled Toilet Paper,
how the bank has ridden successive waves of technology-led business change, always being a ‘fast has been put together to help allotment
follower’ rather than an innovator, conjured up a futuristic vision of technology-based virtual users who get caught short, by suggesting
commerce and of outsourcing as a way of life. He must have left many delegates wondering what a simple, low cost, compost toilet as the
being a service business is really going to mean in 10 years time. Maybe just a set of relationships most suitable solution for their needs.
and a body of knowledge, contracting out the actual delivery of its services to other businesses. Another factsheet, Money Maze, packed
Tom Woodin, project and research officer at the Co-operative College, reviewed the report with funding advice, has also just been
‘Membership – Research and Development in the West Midlands’ which looks at what motivates published. Money Maze was produced
and sustains active membership. Housing co-operatives and retail consumer societies had taken following the huge response to an ARI
part in the research, which concluded that co-operatives can rebuild their mass membership grant scheme, now closed.
provided they make it attractive and promote it. Co-operatives can improve levels of participation Work is currently underway on Safe Sites,
but must explore different ways of participation. a factsheet identifying real solutions to
Kevin Cook, chief executive of Lincoln Co-operative Society, said that 2013 would see stronger vandalism and other site crime.
societies, equipped to deal with commercial challenges and with developing democratic structures. “Safe Sites will show that increasing
They will consolidate their traditional markets, exit non-viable markets, and be constantly seeking community participation and planting
and developing new markets. There will be fewer independent societies but the term independent wildlife-rich hedgerows can create a safer
will take on a new meaning. Societies will be legally distinct democratic entities but with a much site than top-security fencing,” said Bethan
stronger common branding. Stagg, co-ordinator of the Allotments
We should be enjoying a great debate about the future of co-operatives, informed by rigorous Regeneration Initiative.
research and academic work. How can co-operatives change as technology, business ARI’s first newsletter is also now
organisation, consumption patterns, the role of the state and demography change ever more available, reporting on the Initiative’s
rapidly?. The conference gave us a glimpse of what such a debate could be like. What we need launch seminar and upcoming seminars.
now is a much more ambitious event, drawing in all the disparate researchers and stimulating new Contact Bethan Stagg 0121 643 0402
ones. And maybe we need a co-operative business school.
october/november 2003 • issue 58 • NEW SECTOR • 7
by Richard Moreton, chief executive,
joining the mainstream
The third Plunkett Rural Social Enterprise conference, Barbara Philips, and the Chair of Sustain, Professor Tim Lang. The
boldly titled ‘Joining the Mainstream’ is to be held at event brings together initiatives as diverse as community-owned
Cheltenham Racecourse on November 25 and 26. The village shops, rural community transport, agricultural co-operatives
theme of the conference reflects the manner in which and development trusts. It will feature plenary presentations on key
the sector continues to evolve as, arguably, the most national initiatives such as Co-operative UK’s Growing Rural
rapidly growing component of the wider social Business through Collaborative Solutions project, and case studies
enterprise sector. of innovative rural social enterprise including the Shetland Soap
Social enterprises are already the only providers of certain Company and Alston Cybermoor. Participants will be able to
essential services in many villages. Social enterprise in rural areas share their own experience through plenary debates and 16
is therefore rapidly becoming the mainstream, rather than an group thematic workshops, led by social enterprise practitioners.
interesting niche development.
The profile of the conference, which is being organised in MOVED FORWARD
association with Co-operatives UK and supported by prominent
national and regional sponsors, also reflects the continuing The previous two conferences focused on the role that rural social
dynamic development of social enterprise in rural areas. The enterprises play in the alleviation of rural social exclusion. The
structure of the event maintains the popular blend of keynote events were extremely successful in bringing together rural and
presentations from leading policy makers, case examples of social enterprise interest groups under the umbrella of common
successful rural social enterprises and support initiatives, and development objectives. Since the first conference however, both
interactive plenary debates and group workshops. the social enterprise and rural agendas have moved forward a
Keynote speakers will include the Minister responsible for Rural long way. The DTI has established the Social Enterprise Unit and
Affairs, Alun Michael, the Director of the Social Enterprise Unit, the sector itself has formed the UK Coalition for Social Enterprise.
Rural Social Enterprise
Joining the Mainstream
“Rural social enterprise is the most
rapidly growing component of the
wider social enterprise sector”
Want to find out why? Take the
plunge and join the mainstream in
For further details and a booking
form contact Quintin Fox at:
Tel: 01993 883636
Third National Rural Social Enterprise Conference Or download information from
Cheltenham Racecourse, 25th & 26th November 2003 our website: www.plunkett.co.uk
in association with
8 • NEW SECTOR • issue 58 • october/november 2003
In the rural policy sphere the Countryside
Agency has identified social enterprise as
a key policy issue, and the farming
how to build successful
industry has responded
recommendations of the Policy Report on
to social enterprises
the Future of Food and Farming by
The Social Enterprise Institute (SEI) at Heriot Watt University Edinburgh
launching English Food and Farming
is holding a major UK national conference on 16 October 2003. The
Partnerships. There has never been such
Scottish Executive, Scottish Enterprise and the Co-operative Group are
unified support for the principles and
sponsoring the conference.
values of co-operative and social
The conference, entitled, ‘How to Build Successful Social Enterprises’, will hear from
enterprise in rural areas.
experts in business, economic regeneration and the social economy. These include the
ECONOMIC MATURITY winners of the 2002 Upstarts awards for social enterprise: Liam Black of the FRC
Group, Brian Tannahill of the McSense Group and Jamie Hartzell of the Ethical Property
The sector itself also continues to develop Company. With other sector leaders and supporters, they will advise delegates how
and evolve. The number of community- all social enterprises can improve their business performance whilst retaining their
owned village stores increases by the social values. Particular emphasis will be placed on what is practical so that social
week, whilst many formerly voluntary entrepreneurs and sector support agencies can focus on business improvement.
sector organisations aspire to evolve into The conference will be of specific interest to those people who wish to reduce their
viable social enterprises. With this dependence on grant income, seek to trade their services, and make profits, in order
blurring of the dividing line between the to become truly independent, sustainable, self-sufficient and value-led businesses.
social enterprise and voluntary sector, an Specifically the conference will focus on:
increasingly important issue is how • Identifying and trading in markets
fledgling rural social enterprises can • Acquiring finance and ethical investment
establish paths to viability and • Balancing commercial imperatives with social mission
sustainability. The economic maturity of • Diverse range of legal forms, structures and democratic models
the sector could also be regarded as a key • Support services for social entrepreneurs
factor in it being viewed as being a part • Childcare, recycling, property management, waste management, ICT, security,
of the mainstream business community, environmental and contract cleaning services, international fair trade, retailing,
rather than a curious anomaly. The extent leisure, furniture trade, insulation/energy efficiency and advocacy and promotion.
to which private businesses can also utilise
co-operative and collaborative SOCIAL MISSION
approaches is also a current issue.
The list of sponsors of the event reads like Declan Jones, director of the SEI, said: “The purpose of the conference is to bring
a briefing of the effectiveness of joined-up together successful social entrepreneurs, who have managed to balance business
Government. In addition to key national success and social mission, with delegates who wish to emulate these successes.
players such as Defra, the Countryside “There are no replicable models, which can be transplanted in their entirety from one
Agency and the DTI, the host South-West setting to another. However, there are entrepreneurial behaviours and methods, which
Regional Development Agency is also all social entrepreneurs need to understand. What we have managed to do is to attract
making a financial contribution. The leading exponents of social enterprises that seek to make profit in order to achieve their
Oxford, Swindon and Gloucester social mission, become self-sufficient and independent from the state.
Co-operative Society is extending the local “The real message is ‘not-for-profit does not work’. In truth, that tag merely represents
food theme by sponsoring the even dinner. a tax status and should not be seen as a set of instructions - although it too often is.
With a venue capacity of 400 there What is important, is that it is the purpose to which profits are put, which signifies the
should be place for everyone who wishes truly successful social entrepreneur.”
to attend and participants are expected to Delegates will come from individual social enterprises and support or intermediary
congregate from all corners of the UK. bodies such as local enterprise companies, other state bodies as well as government
What’s certain is that, for anyone backed economic and regeneration agencies.
interested in the development of social
enterprise in rural areas, this is the one Contact Declan Jones 0131 451 3858, 07974 350 247, www.som.hw.ac.uk/socialenterprise
event that cannot be missed.
october/november 2003 • issue 58 • NEW SECTOR • 9
Sarah Louise Taylor reports on the
Darlington Communities Project
pride and prejudice
Football training is one of the most popular projects developed by the Red Hall Partnership
The stench of council estate stigmas Deprivation 2000. Funded by the Tees Shan Warren, Darlington Borough
can be detected right across the Valley Single Programme, SRB and Council’s strategy and performance
UK. It seems that in every town European Development Fund, the project manager, says: “Community involvement is
and every city, there is at least one aims to: an integral part of the regeneration
housing estate with an undesirable • Encourage active participation of process. After all, nobody knows an area
reputation, whether it deserves it communities in the regeneration process better than the people who live there ...
or not. • Create inclusive, effective local Essentially, a community can realise it
As a result, residents of such estates often community partnerships really has the ability to make a difference”.
have to deal with prejudice from • Build the capacity of the selected
‘outsiders’ which can have a negative communities PROJECT SUCCESS
effect on their perception of where they • Develop links between communities and
live. Stigmas breed unfounded fears, existing community and voluntary Although its still in early stages, the
neighbours become strangers and networks project has already helped to develop an
communities crumble. • Provide residents with the tools to incredibly successful community
This has happened in several areas identify and tackle their own problems partnership in Darlington’s Red Hall
across Darlington, a market town in North • Improve community access to future housing estate.
East England, but Darlington Borough funding opportunities. The Red Hall Partnership is a charitable
Council is attempting to combat problems organisation with a main focus on
faced by deprived communities by Essentially, a community improving the quality of life for Red Hall
empowering residents and helping them to can realise it really has the residents. Since it was founded, the
regenerate their own estates. ability to make a difference Partnership has raised an impressive
To meet these goals and develop £100,000 of funding that has created a
long-term community regeneration, the It is hoped that the approach of the wide variety of community projects.
council has launched a new initiative project will not only increase community These include:
called the Darlington Communities Project participation in the regeneration process, • A playworkers project, funded by
that aims to tackle social exclusion in the but will also build the confidence of Childrens Fund, that delivers a
town’s 11 most deprived wards - all of residents across Darlington and enable playscheme during term time and
which are within the worst 25% nationally them to gain skills and expertise in new activities on evenings and Saturdays
according to the Index of Multiple areas. • A play area funded by Single
10 • NEW SECTOR • issue 58 • october/november 2003
Programme and Childrens Fund to be UNIQUE PROBLEMS having an impact. Funding has just been
owned and maintained by Darlington approved to create a new play area, a
Borough Council Despite the huge success of the Red Hall newsletter is in circulation and talks are
• A toy and story sack project funded by Partnership, its methods unfortunately underway to obtain premises for the
Sherburn Hospital and Childrens Local cannot simply be ‘rolled out’ across the partnership in the form of a derelict shop
Network Fund deprived wards of Darlington as each of centrally located on the estate.
• An exercise class, funded by PCT them face barriers that are unique to them. The area’s Residents Association also
• A tool library offering a range of tools The Lascelles Park Community recently held a successful ‘fun day’ which
(lawn mowers, carpet cleaners etc) Partnership, which was formed earlier this brought together many people on the
• A Citizens Advice Bureau year, is a prime example of this. estate for the first time in years.
• A Baby Clinic, Positive Parenting course
and a baby massage class If you start with the REVIVING COMMUNITY SPIRIT
The Partnership has funded many other children you can't go far wrong
worthwhile projects and created lots of as their activities have so many This highlights one of the most positive
opportunities that benefit every age group hidden spin offs effects of the project that can’t really be
- with many more still to come. In measured. By working together to
particular the Partnership has also Unlike Red Hall, Lascelles Park has improve the places in which they live, the
developed lots of projects for the children received very little funding as it’s deemed residents of deprived areas are not only
of the estate including a youth club, to be of a lesser need because it is a much regaining a sense of ownership and
Saturday football, Friday disco, three smaller area. It does not have, and has empowerment, they’re reclaiming a long-
football pitches, and it is currently awaiting never had, a community centre which has lost feeling of being part of something
work to begin on a multi-sport floodlight all severely impeded its regeneration process. bigger than themselves and reviving
weather pitch. The area also has no play facilities for community spirit.
This special focus on youth has had a children as the vandalism and destruction The Darlington Communities Project is not
huge impact on Red Hall. As Martin of park equipment several years ago has an overnight miracle that will ensure
Landers, Chair of the Red Hall Partnership meant that the town’s council are unwilling economic improvement for less affluent
says: "My favourite area surrounds the to replace the equipment. areas, but it is slowly helping to destroy
success we have had with young people. However, what the partnership does stigmas and restore something extremely
If you start with the children you can't go have in common with the Red Hall valuable to people regardless of whether
far wrong as their activities have so many Partnership, and hopefully all the they are rich or poor - a sense of pride in
hidden spin offs. It's incredible how many partnerships in time, is bundles of where they live.
mums and dads are getting involved with enthusiasm. The sheer determination of
projects that involve kids”. key individuals from the estate to improve Contact Sarah Louise Taylor 0191 375 0101,
the place in which they live is already email@example.com
Lascelles Park Community Partnership plans to make use of these derelict shops
october/november 2003 • issue 58 • NEW SECTOR • 11
by Anne Malloy, manager, Social
Economy Agency Northern Ireland
government funds northern
ireland social economy
After years of lobbying and SEA to: briefing other Departments about the
persuasion, funding has finally • Facilitate the establishment of an sector and supporting them to consider
been secured to support the inclusive Network how their policies and programmes could
establishment of a social economy • Promote the work of the Social Economy help or hinder the development of the
network in Northern Ireland, as Network and Forum plus the wider sector and how a stronger social economy
part of the overall government benefits derived from the sector sector can contribute to their objectives.
strategy to tap into the potential of • Establish a research capability to assess The IDSG has developed a cross-
the social economy. new opportunities for increased activity department strategic framework which will
In June 2001, the Department of • Contribute to identification and better raise awareness of the sector and establish
Enterprise, Trade & Investment (DETI) its value; increase its business strengthens
commissioned a major review of the social and create a supporting and enabling
economy sector to identify best practice environment for social economy businesses
and gaps in the approach, and to help the to prosper.
development of a more strategic Many departments now recognise that
framework to enable the sector to reach its the sector complements a number of
potential. important Government initiatives, for
example Targeting Social Need,
STRATEGY Neighbourhood Renewal and Rural
Development and this has been the basis
The review concluded that while there of the cross-department strategic
were many examples of excellent social framework.
economy businesses in Northern Ireland,
there was often little understanding of the FORUM
sector or its needs. Low visibility, lack of understanding of social enterprise policy
debate and few specific support issues and promote development of And the third key structure is the Social
mechanisms had hampered its growth. appropriate policy responses Economy Forum which will be chaired by
The absence of a clear policy focus within • Establish and maintain a social Ian Pearson, minister for enterprise, trade
Government was an important and economy resource centre/website and investment, and will meet twice a
worrying strategic gap. (database of best practice and sources year.
The resulting government strategy has of information) The Forum involves IDSG Members and
three main elements: • Promote beneficial partnership representatives from the Network working
• Social Economy Network arrangements with other social networks together to identify key issues and priorities
• Inter-Departmental Steering Group locally, nationally and internationally. for action. The first Forum was held in June
(IDSG) SEA has been actively recruiting and a series of actions agreed such as:
• Social Economy Forum, where the members to the Social Economy Network • mapping the sector (in line with the
Network and IDSG come together to since April and already more than 120 Department of Trade and Investment’s
agree the policy framework for the organisations have joined. Mapping exercise)
development of the sector. The Network is an important vehicle for • current and emerging legal frameworks
sharing information and best practice. It • accessibility of business support and
NETWORK also gives the sector an unparalleled advice
opportunity to influence and contribute to • public procurement as a potential
The Social Economy Agency (a partner the development of policies. market for the social economy, and
in New Sector) will facilitate the network, • access to finance.
and effectively act as a voice of the sector INTER-DEPARTMENTAL
under the direction of a representative Contact Anne Molloy, Social Economy Agency,
committee of the wider social economy. DETI’s Social Economy Branch is leading 028 7137 1733
The agreed funding package will allow an Inter-Departmental Steering Group, anne@socialeconomyagency/org
12 • NEW SECTOR • issue 58 • october/november 2003
Helen Seymour of Co-operatives UK and Sarah
Osbourne from Wales Co-operative Centre report on
plans for a major co-operative conference
securing the future
The Wales Co-operative Centre is celebrating its 21st
anniversary this year with a major conference in
Cardiff on 24/25 October organised in conjunction
with Co-operatives UK. Titled ‘Securing the Future:
co-operative approaches to the sustainability agenda’
the conference will set out to explore how businesses
of all kinds, and co-operatives in particular, can and
should contribute to a sustainable economy.
Co-operatives from across the UK will be participating in the
workshops which will examine key areas of the sustainability
agenda - waste and recycling, business, climate change and
energy, food, communities, finance and housing.
Helen Seymour, national strategy co-ordinator at
Co-operatives UK writes:
Sustainability is not just about energy and waste and recycling - David Edwards (left) from Cheeses from Wales will be speaking
at the workshop on sustainable food production
though climate change and depletion of resources make these
some of the most urgent issues. It is also about businesses
providing services and jobs for the long term, about communities SOME OF THE PARTICIPANTS FROM WALES:
taking some control and ensuring that their long term needs are
met. It’s about producing food that doesn’t cost the earth. It’s Datrys Consulting Engineers
about housing design responding to the challenges of a small This firm of consulting engineers, based in Caernarfon, was set
island and a threatened planet. It’s about financial tools being up as an employee owned company and worker co-operative in
developed to sustain and develop businesses not just to keep those July 2002. The employees were part of a Dutch company which
who don’t work for it in clover. closed its operation in Wales due to restructuring of the business.
At the ‘Securing the Future’ conference a range of speakers will Since becoming an employee owned company the business has
address these issues: Tony Juniper, executive director of Friends of thrived and taken on more employees.
the Earth, Andrew Davies AM, minister for economic development
and transport in the Welsh Assembly, Lord Elis Thomas, Erik Moelyci
Bichard, director of the National Centre for Business & Villagers in the foothills of Snowdonia became their own bosses
Sustainability, Paul Monaghan, head of sustainable development earlier this year after buying a mountain from an estate which has
at the Co-operative Bank, Paul Allen, the Centre for Alternative dominated the area for centuries. More than 200 residents of
Technology. Tregarth, Rhiwlas and Mynydd Llandegai near Bethesda formed a
A range of workshops led by experts and practitioners will co-operative and clubbed together to buy 320 acres of land and
explore different themes of sustainability in greater depth. The a farm on the Moelyci mountain, from the Penrhyn Estate. The next
various co-operative businesses explaining how the put principles phase of the project will be to form the Moelyci Environment
into practice include Baywind Energy Co-operative, Sundance Centre.
Renewables, Delta-T Devices, East Anglian Brewers, Mid-Devon
Community Recycling and many more. Llithfaen co-operatives
We don’t think we have all the answers. We recognise that we Cwmni Cydweithredol Tafarn Y Vic was the first community
all have much to learn and - most importantly - put into practice. co-operative to be formed in the village of Llithfaen, near Pwllheli,
But we do have some good experience and practice to share and Gwynedd, and is a community-owned pub. Twelve years ago the
together we can examine how we can take the agenda forward. pub was threatened with closure, so villagers decided to join
The event in Cardiff will be challenging, stimulating and fun - a together to buy it, rather than lose it altogether. Menter yr Eifl is a
must for people who want to be involved in shaping the future of community owned shop, also in Llithfaen. It was registered as a
co-operative business and the sustainability agenda. community co-operative seven years ago. Again, the local
residents decided to take over its running after the previous owners
Contact: visit: www.cooperatives-uk.coop/sustainability , call 0161 246 announced plans to close the business and the villagers faced the
2908, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. threat of losing their only village store.
october/november 2003 • issue 58 • NEW SECTOR • 13
David Parker reports on the
renaissance of Manchester’s
leading vegetarian co--operative
no longer cranks
A workers co-operative that
started nearly 30 years ago as an
alternative trading centre is now
running the smartest vegetarian
restaurant, café and shop in
Manchester following a multi-
million pound redevelopment of its
Three years ago the members of Eighth
Day were faced with a difficult decision.
The co-op’s main asset, its premises, was in
such a poor condition that it was not viable
to repair it. The only economic option was
to demolish it and redevelop the site. But
how could they afford to do it?
The co-op members knew that the
location of Eighth Day in Oxford Road
near the university students union and the Business is brisk in the completely rebuilt shop, café and restaurant
BBC was one of the foundations of its
success. Location was more important to political. The style may be different, but for over five years. The two longest
the business than property ownership, and the principles are the same: vegetarianism, serving members joined in 1984. The
so they agreed to enter into a sale and wholefoods, organics, fair trade, ethical co-operative expects to admit a few new
leaseback arrangement with a property consumerism. members over the next 12 months. Eighth
developer. Eighth Day now occupies the “Since the 1970s we have believed that Day also employs many temporary and
ground floor and basement of the new there is a viable market for ethical part-time staff who do not wish to become
premises, and there are 23 flats above. consumerism and vegetarian products,” members.
“The last two years have been very said Tim Gausden. “The success of our “As a workers co-op, everyone’s views
stressful,” said co-op member Tim business today is a testament to that direct the business allowing us to operate
Gausden, “But we all agree it was the belief.” in a way that promotes ethical values as
right decision. The redevelopment part of our work,” said Tim. “In other work
enabled us to launch a new specialist On the seventh day God cultures people can come behind profits,
vegetarian restaurant.” rested, on the eighth day He (She but here we pursue our social agenda in
Eighth Day has run a café and shop or It) created something better parallel with our business plan.”
together for many years, but the restaurant
is a new venture. All meals are And the business is still a common BRILLIANT
vegetarian, of course, and many are ownership workers co-operative, although
vegan. The chefs use organic and local how it is managed has changed several How is it that Eighth Day has survived
produce wherever possible and there is a times over the years. and flourished when so many vegetarian
fully organic wine list. “We have separate teams for the shop, co-operatives have failed? Tim thinks there
café and restaurant which manage the are three reasons: “First we were very
REVOLUTIONARY day-to-day work and a five-person lucky to get such a good location and
management committee which meets hang onto it. Second, we made most of
Deals with developers and gourmet monthly,” Tim explained. “We also have our mistakes many years ago when the
dining may seem far removed from the full co-operative meetings every three business climate was a bit more forgiving.
revolutionary ethos of the founder months, although during the And third, we’re brilliant at what we do.”
members in the 1970s, none of whom are redevelopment we held them more often.”
still members. Nowadays the co-operative There are currently 10 members of the Contact Eighth Day 0161 273 4878
co-operative, all of whom have been there www.eighth-day.co.uk
is a more efficient business and less overtly
14 • NEW SECTOR • issue 58 • october/november 2003
Members of a business services co-operative in
Somerset describe how sticking to co-op principles
has helped them grow
radical rural upstarts
UpStart Services Workers’ Co-operative in rural
Somerset has been helping people to transform their
visions for radical social change into viable
co-operative enterprises for almost six years. In May
this year, UpStart took on two new members, doubling
its number of employees.
UpStart is a service co-op providing year end accounts and other
financial services and in-house and residential training courses. It
works with both new and existing co-ops. It is one of a handful of
financial service providers specialising in the social economy and
co-ops. “Now that we’ve expanded the team, we are able to take
on more year-end accounts work for co-operatives,” said
accountant Sarah Lawrie. UpStart plans to take on more accounts
work for co-ops not requiring a fully qualified audit (which now
includes most small co-ops) from this autumn. By then, trainee
accounts technician Rebecca Thurgood will have completed the
first part of her training.
UpStart is particularly interested in initiating and developing new
ideas for co-ops, especially in promoting the growth of the green
economy, and fostering interdependent clusters of co-ops. In some
cases UpStart is prepared to undertake development work on an
‘at risk’ basis, deferring the payments due until the customer co-op Co-operative members Becky Thurgood (seated) and Sarah Lawrie
secures start-up funding; it also fundraises to support its
development work. a car pool in the Yeovil district, and residential courses this autumn
and winter on How to set up a Housing Co-op, How to set up a
HISTORY Workers’ Co-op, Financial Management for Co-operatives, and
Co-operative Decision Making.
In 1999, UpStart ran its first ‘How to Set up a Housing Co-op’
course, which was repeated in 2000 and 2001. In 2000, UpStart CO-OPERATIVE
staged the ‘Taking Control 2000’ events, a series of seminars
around the country on different aspects of forming co-ops. “Bringing resources back from corporate into community
UpStart is a member of Radical Routes, a secondary co-op set up ownership is a vital element in building a more peaceful, just and
to provide finance and support for co-operatives with a focus on sustainable world” said Alex Lawrie, a founder of UpStart. “This
radical social change. In 2001 UpStart secured the contract to is why we wanted to be a co-operative rather than a private
manage the finances for Radical Routes. company.”
In late 2002, UpStart secured £20,000 of grant funding to Newly appointed Fieldworker/Trainer Pamela Smith said,
promote and develop co-ops in deprived communities in the South “When you compare levels of control over your work and job
West. This, coupled with increasing accounts work, gave the satisfaction, the private and public sectors just don’t measure up to
co-operative the confidence to expand. the standards set by co-operatives.”
Alex Lawrie added, “We have always understood ‘co-operative’
ENERGISE in a broad sense, and more recently we have used the terms
‘community enterprise’ or ‘social enterprise’ to indicate that we are
Next year UpStart will run five ‘Community Energisers’ in keen to work with any business having social aims and being
deprived communities in Somerset and Dorset. These are fun, accountable to its main stakeholders. Our benchmark for this kind
participatory open days which will include a graphic consultation of mutual business remains the International Co-operative
to encourage communities to talk about the products they consume, Principles. All over the country, co-operatives are proving that
the skills they can offer and the way wealth is gained and lost. moral principle and ecological awareness are compatible with
They aim to identify the potential for new co-ops and community commercial success.”
enterprises; promote participation, and energise community
entrepreneurs. Contact UpStart 0845 458 1473, email@example.com,
Other projects UpStart is working on include the development of http://users.cooptel.net/upstart
october/november 2003 • issue 58 • NEW SECTOR • 15
Sarah Louise Taylor reviews three
reports on social enterprise
in scotland, sweden, london
bridge support routes to
Clare Brady, development agent
at Community Business Scotland
Network, has compiled a new Social Enterprise London has just
report as part of the Network's published a new guide of map routes to
‘Bridge to the Social Economy’ sustainability for the care sector. The
project - a two-year initiative book, Care Sector - A framework for
funded by the Community Fund. social enterprise creation, is a guide for
The report, entitled Social Enterprise health and social care organisations in
Development and the Social Economy in the voluntary sector that want to
Scotland, has been written to aid the aim become sustainable social enterprises.
of project which is to identify needs in The book examines various approaches to
the voluntary and community sector and conversion and provides tips on overcoming
help its organisations make the transition barriers to development, converting social needs
to social enterprises. It is also an into market demand, dealing with
examination of the relationship between commissioning issues and grasping the many
the requirements for development of new opportunities available.
social economy organisations and social It also features an overview of current
enterprises, the support available to government frameworks and support and a full social enterprise business planning guide,
them, and the current policy context. covering the business planning process, marketing and cost-analysis.
The comprehensive book is divided A collection of real-life case-studies focusing on a variety of key areas such as mental
into manageable chunks that can be health, elderly care and work and training schemes for disabled people, enables readers
easily digested by newcomers to the to learn from the experiences of others in the sector.
often complex world of social enterprise. A comprehensive directory of useful contacts is also included to put readers in touch with
Fortunately, the author doesn’t attempt to organisations in the sector which can provide further support.
‘Care Sector - A framework for social enterprise creation’ is now available from SEL at a cost of
offer yet another clear cut definition of
£10.00 plus postage and packing. Order online at www.sel.org.uk or call 020 7704 7490.
social enterprise (a task previously
attempted and failed by others), but
instead presents a good range of
descriptions and explains how the social
economy and social enterprise fit
alongside the public and private sectors. childcare
Although it specifically focuses on the
social economy in Scotland, the general Social Enterprise London (SEL) has
information included in the report also launched a new publication
provides a good, solid overview of entitled Developing Diverse,
social enterprise that should be of Sustainable Approaches to
interest to anyone with slightly shaky Childcare: Multi-ethnic pre-school
knowledge of the topic, regardless of lessons from Sweden by Carolyn
geographical location. It is also very Pedwell.
helpfully abundant with references to The booklet documents the findings of a recent study-trip to childcare organisations in
information sources and publications Stockholm that was organised to enable the visitors to observe the approaches used by
suitable for those hoping to delve further. successful community pre-schools serving multi-ethnic communities. The publication outlines
the models and techniques identified during the trip that could be used in the UK.
Contact Clare Brady, CBS Network, 0131 It also offers an overview of the country’s childcare as well as a more detailed look at
229 7257, firstname.lastname@example.org some childcare co-operatives in the form of case studies.
Contact SEL 020 7704 7490, www.sel.org.uk
16 • NEW SECTOR • issue 58 • october/november 2003
Paul Gosling examines how public / private
partnerships are developing in Northern Ireland and
asks what has been learned from England and Wales
investment or sell off?
The Foyle river bed has established its own place in
history. The leasing of the river bed to McCormick’s by
Crown Estates - dubbed recently by Derry News the
‘sale of the century’ - was a prime example of what
the new Strategic Investment Board (SIB) has been
designed to prevent.
SIB will try to stop any public body in Northern Ireland
undermining the work of others. In the case of the Foyle, Crown
Estates earned itself a very modest income by selling the rights to
use the river bed. Meanwhile, the wider perspective of how to
make the best use of the river and its frontages lost out, to the
potential damage of the Eglinton and Fort George redevelopment River Foyle at Derry (photo Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau)
and the ‘visioning’ of the city conducted by the Department for
Social Development. The interim chief executive of SIB, Andy Carty, has said that it
was very important to quickly establish a strong flow of PPP deals.
WEAKNESS These will include a number of early contracts in place to rebuild
schools and hospitals, including some in Derry and across the
Many commentators consider the lack of a strategic overview North West.
was the main weakness of the devolved administration in Northern There will also be pressure for asset sales. The first to go could
Ireland - which we must hope is up and running again after the be government-owned car parks, but it is likely that the government
Assembly elections scheduled for the latter end of the year. property portfolio will reduce in size quickly. In Britain, the
Departments and quangos were allowed to do rather too much of government is very happy with its programme of selling tax and
their own thing. In future, the First Minister and the Deputy First social security offices to property companies and renting back a
Minister can be expected to play a much stronger hand. reduced number of them.
This is why the new SIB will be report directly to the Office of the Not that we should expect that PPPs here will be the same as
FM and DFM, backed by policy advice from another new body, those in Britain. Andy Carty talks of the need to “Northern
the Public Private Investment Unit. Together, they will aim to ensure Irelandise” PPPs, by creating a social partnership with trade unions
that the departments work together to a strong and possibly by the use of the voluntary sector as
central policy framework. this means modernising a partner in place of business. Where PPPs do
With over £6billion to spend in the next few and simplifying working go to the private sector, the SIB believes that
years on Northern Ireland’s infrastructure, it is practices, using more IT and there will probably be joint ventures between
no real surprise that greater central control is cutting jobs Northern Irish and British businesses to bid for
desired. This will inevitably mean that contracts.
individual ministers’ influence is diluted.
But the SIB will do more than just make sure that the £6billion is DRASTIC
well spent. It is part of a root-and-branch overhaul of public service
provision here - which David Trimble has said will have “wide There should perhaps be a mixture of welcome and caution for
ramifications” for the way the public sector works. As investment the desire by the SIB for closer and stronger links between
goes into the public sector, so it will be ‘re-engineered’. Taking government and business. It is clear that we need a more healthy
away the jargon, this means modernising and simplifying working business environment here - especially in and around Derry - but
practices, using more IT and cutting jobs. when Carty speaks of the need for more of the Gross Domestic
Product to be contributed by the private sector, many will fear that
PRIVATISATIONS this means there will be drastic cuts to the public sector. In the short
term, this could lead to further economic damage.
Some of the focus will be on catching up with the reforms that But Carty also says that it is essential that the Executive and the
Northern Ireland largely missed out on - privatisations, the Private public sector generally pay more attention to the macro-economic
Finance Initiative, Public Private Partnerships and the Wider effects of their actions. What a shame that no one suggested this
Markets Initiative. Indeed the Wider Markets Initiative - in which to Crown Estates before ‘the sale of the century’.
the public sector is much more closely connected to business and Paul Gosling is a freelance journalist and social economy consultant,
seeks to sell know-how and surplus assets - will be one of the key email: email@example.com
priorities for the new SIB. This article was first published in ‘Derry News’
october/november 2003 • issue 58 • NEW SECTOR • 17
Huw Lewis, Member of Welsh Assembly, urges all
co-operators to support the campaign for a Peoples
Museum in Wales
learning from history
For the better part of 150 years Wales has been at the vanguard Museum would reflect this heritage - one that thrives still today.
of working class history and the Labour movement. Politically, But this is not the only reason why modern co-operators should
socially, economically and culturally we are part of a proud British support the campaign. Just like 150 years ago the challenges
movement, yet one that is also in many ways unique. facing working people and our communities today require
The irony however is that the contribution of ordinary Welsh co-operative solutions.
working people to the development of the industrial world is not
celebrated much in Wales. We celebrate and market an ancient LOCAL AND COLLECTIVE
culture that has little resonance to modern Wales, yet we have no
national institutional testament to the daily struggle of ordinary Facing down corporate greed requires the exercise of
people and to the great export of ideas, industry and raw democratic ownership and control of companies.
materials that so influenced the industrial revolution Improving access to retail facilities on our most
across the globe. deprived and isolated estates, typically in areas like
There is no Peoples Museum in Wales (like there the South Wales Valleys, can be solved by locally
is in both England and Scotland) to celebrate and collectively owned enterprise. Credit unions
our history of struggle. It is to our collective have a still greater role to play in addressing
shame that no place exists where the lives of financial exclusion and debt. And of course
ordinary working people in Wales can be ethical finance and fair trade - two totems of the
recorded and their unique stories told, studied new generation of centre-left activists - have
and preserved. great synergy with our own co-operative values.
The modern co-operative movement should The danger is that we react to these problems in
recognise why it is important to be part of the isolation from our own history. As a movement we
campaign to create such a museum. Co-operative values possess a history of which we should be proud, but it is one
greatly shaped the history of Wales. Communities reacted to their we must also learn from. Co-operative values, just like in industrial
experience of grinding poverty and inequality in mid-nineteenth South Wales 150 years ago, offer solutions for the most pressing
century industrial Britain by coming together in the exercise of issues facing our communities. The application of good history
mutual self-help and co-operation. means understanding our past in order to deliver a better future.
Co-operative and mutual enterprises were formed in order to Historical co-operative values are still as relevant today as they
provide for the security and welfare that the state did not and were two centuries ago, but putting them into practice means that
would not provide to a still disenfranchised working class. Indeed we have to learn from their past application. If our values are to
working people were exercising their democratic right, through be realised into practical and effective solutions co-operators
collective ownership of co-operative enterprises, decades before should support the campaign for a Peoples Museum in Wales in
the universal (male) suffrage was introduced. A Welsh Peoples order to better do this.
finance for co-operatives
and social enterprises
Industrial Common Ownership Finance
227c City Road, London EC1V 1JT
tel 020 7251 6181 fax 020 7336 7407
email firstname.lastname@example.org www.icof.co.uk
18 • NEW SECTOR • issue 58 • october/november 2003
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october/november 2003 • issue 58 • NEW SECTOR • 19
SOCIAL ECONOMY CONFERENCES, COURSES, SEMINARS, FESTIVALS & EVENTS
For latest information go to www.newsector.co.uk
Please send information for events in December and January for inclusion in the next issue to:
New Sector, 1 Red Hill Villas, Durham DH1 4BA fax: 0191 375 0202 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
4 October 2003 21 October 2003 13 - 14 November 2003
How Co-operatives and Social Good Governance in Voluntary Co-operative Exchange
Enterprises can Regenerate Rural Organisations LEICESTER
Communities MANCHESTER Two-day seminar that will include sessions on
EXETER A conference for voluntary sector trustees and the future of co-operative retailing, brand
A conference for community activists organised staff, focusing on the legal requirements marketing, co-operative housing and diversity.
by the Co-operative Group South West. involved & highlighting good practice. Contact Linda Shaw 0161 246 2922,
Contact Tony Badcock 01884 266892, Contact Susan Barrett 0161 277 1001 Linda@co-op.ac.uk
email@example.com 23 October 2003 14 November 2003
10 - 11 October 2003 Footsey 100 21 years of Social Enterprise
Co-operative Young Film Makers ROTHERAM LEICESTER
Festival Social enterprise trade fair. AGM of Leicester & County Co-operative
BRADFORD Contact Jeff Scales 0114 278 9999, Development Agency and agency’s 21st
anniversary with guest speaker Patricia Hewitt
An exhibition of work from co-operative young firstname.lastname@example.org
MP and Co-op Christmas Fayre.
24 - 25 October 2003 Contact Carol Kearl 0116 222 5010
Contact Rebecca Smith 0161 246 2216
Securing the future 21 - 23 November 2003
16 October 2003
Striking the Balance – the need for
How to Build Successful Social A conference jointly hosted by Co-operatives
Enterprises UK and the Wales Co-operative Centre.
See article on page 11. GLASGOW
Contact Rita Butler 0161 246 2098 ABCUL’s autumn conference. Key speaker is
One day seminar at the Social Enterprise
Lucy Ito - Vice President of the World Council
Institute at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh. email@example.com
of Credit Unions (WOCCU)
See advertisement below.
29 October 2003 Contact Tracy Slane 0161 819 6983,
Contact Declan Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org
Can Social Enterprises be Part of email@example.com
Procurement Policies? 25 - 26 November 2003
17 October 2003 LONDON
3rd Rural Social Enterprise Conference
Social Capital Explained One-day conference organised by Social
Enterprise magazine. CHELTENHAM
One day conference organised by the Contact 02476 571111 Held by the Plunkett Foundation in association
Merseyside Social Enterprise Network. www.newstartmag.co.uk/procurement with Co-operatives UK. See article on page 8.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Contact Quintin Fox 01993 883 636,
7 - 8 November 2003
20 - 25 October 2003 Bassac Conference 2003 - Community
29 November 2003
Governance and Co-operatives Assets, Community Wealth: Unlocking
more than buildings 60th anniversary of Chelmsford
BRISTOL Co-operative Party
International Forum organised by the
Co-operative College with concludes with A two-day conference that promises to identify CHELMSFORD
attendance at the ‘Securing the Future’ local assets and their potential and explore A celebration which will include a speech from
conference (see below). how they can offer a stronger future. Dame Pauline Green on Co-operation - Past,
Contact Jenny de Villiers 01509 856459 Contact Anna Johnson 020 7735 1075 or go Present and Future.
email@example.com to www.bassac.org.uk Contact Malcolm Wallace 01245 601373
20 • NEW SECTOR • issue 58 • october/november 2003