Saturday, 29 May 2010

Coalition Conservative Movement

The Conservative Co-operative movement website has seen some recent activity. The rhetoric might sound like supporting co-operatives and mutuality but the Coalition programme for government has only the public sector in its sights for employee ownership. The Post Office has "opportunities for employee ownership" too - though how this squares with a part-privatisation I'm unsure.Wonder if the Lib-Dems will get involved, put Lloyd George behind them and start a 'Liberal Co-operative Movement'

There is a link to the link to the Localis publication
Policy Platform: “In Your Hands: Benefits and Challenges of mutual and community cooperatives in public services”. Which has contributions from different perspectives, Mary Rayner from Co-Ops UK, Karen Wilkie from the Co-Operative Party, and Simon Randall from the Conservative Co-Operative Movement.

Links :
Conservative Coops
Coalition programme.pdf
Policy Platform pdf

Monday, 24 May 2010

Open Access Bus Lanes

Cllr. Sean Parker-Perry is hoping you might sign the online petition for open access bus lanes. That's about allowing motorcyclists to use bus lanes in Greater Manchester. Sean is a keen motorcyclist and is well aware of the safety issues involved.

"Motorcyclists are vulnerable road users and as such we need added protection. If the Government would like to continue to receive the benefits of motorcycling (reduced CO2 emissions and congestion) then we should be allowed to use the bus lanes to protect us from car users.

In passing this legislation the local Council's will be saving lives and thousands of pounds wasted in dealing with the aftermath of a road traffic collision.

Online petition is here.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

More support for co-ops in the Big Society

The Cabinet Office have issued a three page document and in it there a coalition pledge to "support co-ops, mutuals, charities and social enterprises"..

We will support the creation and expansion of mutuals, co-operatives, charities and social enterprises, and support these groups to have much greater involvement in the running of public services.

We will give public sector workers a new right to form employee-owned co-operatives and bid to take over the services they deliver. This will empower millions of public sector workers to become their own boss and help them to deliver better services.

We will use funds from dormant bank accounts to establish a Big Society Bank, which will provide new finance for neighbourhood groups, charities, social enterprises and other nongovernmental bodies.

Building The Big Society.pdf

De-municipalisation by the back door or a genuine attempt to deliver services for less public funding? When the honeymoon period of the new Con-Dems is over after the summer we'll probably know more. Selling off the Post Office (profits up 26% with falling revenues of 2%)  is a clue to the underlying agenda.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Some Local Election Success

In the local elections our supported Labour-Co-operative candidates did as well as we'd hoped, with increased majorities because of the high turnout for the General Election. So congratulations all round then...
Sue Murphy (Brooklands - maj. 1099)
Suzanne Richards (Longsight - maj. 538 )
Jim Battle (Ancoats and Clayton - maj. 1590)
Eddie Newman (Woodhouse Park - maj. 1802)
Chris Paul didn't win in the Lib-Dem stronghold of Withington ward.

The Labour Party made two gains from the Liberal-Democrats, and the Liberal-Democrats made two gains from Labour. So no change at Manchester Town Hall.

Friday, 7 May 2010

General Election Result 2010 : Withington

2010 Result : Manchester Withington
John Leech (LD)                20110   45% +3%
Lucy Powell (Lab)             18216   40% -1%
Christopher Green (Con)     5005   11% +1%
Brian Candeland (Grn)           798     2% -2%
Robert Gutfreund-Walmsley
(UKIP)                                  698     2% +1%
Yasmin Zalzala (Ind)              147    <1% <1%
Marcus Farmer (Ind)               57     <1% <1%

Majority 1894 5% Turnout: 60% (+5%)
Liberal Democrats hold. Oh well, disappointment.

The vote was finally declared at around 0730h on Friday morning. Already had two sleep breaks, so much for predictions of 0300h and 0500h declarations. Twitter and #MEN2010 (Manchester Evening News) proved useful but the winner for bringing the actual local result went to BBC Radio Manchester live in the Town Hall.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Co-op Party Donations

The Co-operative Party reported donations worth £477,546 in the first quarter of 2010. Not much when Some 14 political parties reported accepting £19,260,225 in donations over the quarter as reported by the Electoral Commission. Most of that was given to the Tories - over 12.3 million.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Why co-operatives are cool again

Well we didn't know they were uncool, maybe not fashionable or in the media spotlight but still cool. Reporter from The Guardian (back to supporting the Lib-Dems now they are on the up, but if you are old enough they supported the SDP in the 1980's - another party that broke the mould of British Politics) anyway it visits local workers co-operative Unicorn. The mutual model has legs...
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