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Your Views on Co-operative Working


Tameside Council has gathered the views and suggestions of residents on Co-operative Working through a number of methods.
Thank you for your contribution. Your suggestions and input helped us to achieve membership of the Co-operative Council’s Innovation Network and inform the improvement and development of co-operative working across the borough. To share further views and suggestions for co-operative working in Tameside please click here.
We collected feedback from residents in a number of ways:
  • An online survey that ran from 5 August 2019 until 12 November 2019
  • A Tameside Co-operative Summit on 3 October 2019 with over 100 attendees from nearly 40 different public sector, community or voluntary organisations.
  • Engagement workshops at events such as the Partnership Engagement Network Conference
  • Engagement workshops with Elected Members of Tameside Council and groups such as Tameside Youth Council and Age UK
 
Online Survey
An online survey on Co-operative Working was open for over three months, from 5 August 2019 until 12 November 2019. The survey was promoted at engagement events including the Tameside Co-operative Summit, the Partnership Engagement Network Conference, and drop-ins at organisations like Age UK and Tameside Youth Council. The survey was also promoted through paper and online communications channels including the Tameside Council Website, Twitter, Facebook, the Big Conversation consultation mailing list, the Partnership Engagement Network mailing list, and The Citizen, which is the tri-annual magazine delivered to every residential address in Tameside.
There were 105 respondents to the online survey. Respondents were asked to select what they thought were the three most important of the nine Co-operative principles and values. All 105 respondents completed this selection. The principle of “Co-production” was selected the most, by 50% of respondents. “Social Partnership” and “Enterprise and Social Economy” were both selected by 47% of respondents. 43% of respondents selected Democratic Engagement.  A full selection table can be seen below.
Principle/Value Percentage of Respondents who Selected the Principle/Value as amongst the Three Most Important
Co-production 50
Social Partnership 47
Enterprise and Social Economy 47
Democratic Engagement 43
Community Leadership and  New Role for Councillors 23
Innovation 23
Maximising Social Value 21
Learning 19
New Models of Meeting Priority Needs 18
 
Respondents were also asked if they could “think of any current examples of co-operative working in Tameside that meet the principles as outlined above”. 40 respondents answered this question. A summary of some of the examples suggested by respondents include:  
  • Joint working between District Nurses and Social Workers in supporting patient’s needs in the community
  • The shared space on the first floor of Tameside One, Ashton where Tameside Council Customer Services, Library Services, Job Centre, Citizen’s Advice, and Cash Box Credit Union work together to support the people of Tameside
  • 100 day project to improve mental health services
  • Friends of Parks organisations, such as Friends of Etherow Lodge Park
  • Tameside Carers
  • Tour of Tameside
  • Active Tameside
  • Tameside College working co-operatively with employers
  • The Grafton Centre
  • Onward Housing
  • Hospital, Council, Charity and Faith organisations working together at the Tameside Macmillan Unit
  • Action Together
  • Home Start
  • Tameside PACT
  • Faiths United Tameside
  • Cash Box Credit Union
  • Take Control Communications Campaign
  • Tameside Digital Co-operative
  • Big Conversation
  • Tameside Arts
  • Together Centre
  • Tameside Armed Forces Community
  • Dane Bank Community Library
  • Tameside and Glossop Strategic Commission
Finally, respondents were asked “Do you have any ideas or suggestions for how the council could work more co-operatively?” There were 54 responses to this question. A summary of the themes of the responses can be viewed below:
  • Shared working spaces for community groups and public sector organisations
  • Communicate and engage with residents and businesses more effectively
  • Incentivise foster caring
  • Support community groups by sharing back-office functions such as IT and Human Resources
  • Re-purposing currently unused physical locations such as empty high street shops or vacant public buildings
  • Develop joint working opportunities across the health and social care sector
  • Recruit employees and procure services within the borough
  • More efficient working between Council departments
  • Network with neighbourhoods via place-based institutions such as schools, GP surgeries, faith centres and pubs
  • Emulate the “Preston Model” of co-operative working
  • More transparency in Council decision making processes and finances
  • Service-user input into the recruitment process of social workers
  • Reduce outsourcing of services
  • Ethical procurement strategies
  • Support resident run services like the Grafton Centre and Dane Bank Community Library
  • Restorative practice: a method of working collaboratively all the time; doing work with residents and service users rather than for them or to them
Tameside Co-operative Summit
The Tameside Co-operative Summit took place at Dukinfield Town Hall on Thursday 3 October. There was over a 100 attendees who between them represented nearly 40 different public sector, community or voluntary organisations.
Below are some of the key points that emerged from the Summit’s group work, Q & A and table discussions, and ideas board submissions.
Co-operative approach and governance:
  • We need to understand how the co-operative values – such as co-production – will work alongside governance.  We also need to ensure that governance does not block a co-operative approach (e.g. sharing of information).
Youth:
  • Create working group/scrutiny panel that includes young people – maybe from the Youth Council.  Give young people a platform to come together and share ideas too.
Tameside council mailboxes:
  • Could council post-boxes be placed in public spaces (e.g. libraries/supermarkets/communal places) to allow feedback to be provided?
Engage with service users:
  • Service users have valuable insight – having managers/senior leaders shadow a service user for a day may be help them understand the many issues they have to overcome.  It’s important to be able to listen to the voices of these people.
Scale:
  • We should start small to ensure people are not overwhelmed by the approach.  Some suggestions that it could be led at a neighbourhood level.
Raising awareness of co-operative approach:
  • People need to know what the co-operative council approach is in order to be engaged. The first co-operative project should be to inform people about the co-operative approach and the difference it can make. How can we use co-operative values and principles in our work?
Community assets:
  • Pooling and sharing assets such as budgets, knowledge and community space could be useful (e.g. minibuses, meeting spaces).  Creating a community asset register could help with this to inform people about what may be available to their organisation.
Community leaders:
  • Community leaders should be identified who can champion the co-operative approach.
Communication:
  • Communication needs to be clearer, particularly from the council. It’s important to break the ‘public sector language bubble’ so the public don’t have to decipher messages.
  • Use communication to build trust in the council and in the co-operative approach.
Engagement:
  • Engage the community and partner organisations in decision making from the beginning, not as an afterthought.
  • Reach out to people who don’t have internet access too
  • Work with partners to engage the ‘hard to reach’ groups. Action Together can help with this.
Co-operative network:
  • Create co-operative group emails in the same way as PEN emails. A different theme could be chosen each year.  Co-operative team briefs could also be used to inform the co-operative network about various projects.
  • A network would particularly help the smaller groups.
  • We could allow hot-desking in different locations within the co-operative network of organisations to build knowledge and relationships.
VCSE:
  • The public sector relies on the VCSE sector. Building capacity in the VCSE sector would improve the offer to the community.
  • Better relationships within the sector would aid co-operative working
Event improvements and comments:
  • Co-operative working needs to be representative of all protected characteristic groups across our communities.
  • Consider holding collaborative type events in the evenings to allow a wider audience to attend.
  • Use PEN conferences and forums to have a workshop/item to develop ideas for potential co-operative projects.
  • Consider more networking events or spaces to introduce organisations to each other.
Summit attendees also completed grading forms which asked them to rank the importance and prevalence of the nine co-operative values and principles.
Attendees were asked to rank the principles and values “from 1 to 9, where 1 is the most important through to 9 being the least important to you and your community”.
The principle that was ranked as number 1 (most important) the most times by attendees was “Enterprise and Social Economy”. The principle that was ranked as number 2 (second most important) the most times by attendees was “Co-Production”. The principle that was ranked as number 3 (third most important) the most times by attendees was “Innovation”.
The percentage of respondents ranking each principle’s importance as either 1, 2 or 3 can be viewed below.
Principles and Values Percentage of Responses that Ranked the Principle as either 1st, 2nd or 3rd Most Important
Co-Production 62
Social Partnership 48
Enterprise and social Economy 33
Innovation 29
Maximising Social Value 24
New Models of Meeting Priority Need 24
Democratic Engagement 19
Community Leadership 10
 
Attendees were also asked to rank the principles and values “from 1 to 9, where 1 is most seen currently through to 9 where we most need to do more in your view/experience”
The principle that was ranked as number 1 (most seen) the most times by attendees was “Enterprise and Social Economy”. The principle that was ranked as number 2 (second most seen) the most times by attendees was “Innovation”. The principle that was ranked as number 3 (third most seen) the most times by attendees was “Learning”.
The percentage of respondents ranking how much each principle is currently seen as either 1, 2 or 3 can be viewed below.
Principles and Values Percentage of Responses that Ranked the Principle as either 1st, 2nd or 3rd Most Seen.
Enterprise and Social Economy 33
Social Partnership 33
Community Leadership 24
Democratic Engagement 24
Learning 24
New Models of Meeting Priority Need 24
Co-production 19
Innovation 19
Maximising Social Value 19
 
Overall Prioritisation
In addition to the Online Survey and the Tameside Co-operative Summit, a number of further engagement events took place which included sessions at the October Partnership Engagement Network Conference, Age UK Tameside, and with Tameside Youth Council and Elected Members of Tameside Council. Attendees were asked to complete the ranking form. A combined summary of the rankings from the online survey, the Co-operative Summit and these further engagement events can be viewed below.
Half of all respondents ranked “Social Partnership” as either 1st, 2nd or 3rd most important. 44% of respondents ranked “Co-Production” as either 1st, 2nd or 3rd most important and 40% ranked “Enterprise and Social Economy” as either 1st, 2nd or 3rd most important.
Principles and Values Percentage of Responses that Ranked the Principle as either 1st, 2nd or 3rd Most Important
Social Partnership 50
Co-Production 44
Enterprise and Social Economy 40
Democratic Engagement 38
Maximising Social Value 28
Innovation 24
Community Leadership 22
New Models of Meeting Priority Need 18
Learning 18
 
38% of all respondents ranked “Enterprise and Social Economy” as either 1st, 2nd or 3rd most seen. 31% ranked “Community Leadership” as either 1st, 2nd or 3rd most seen, and 29% ranked “Social Partnership” as either 1st, 2nd or 3rd most seen.
Principles and Values Percentage of Responses that Ranked the Principle as either 1st, 2nd or 3rd Most Seen.
Enterprise and Social Economy 38
Community Leadership 31
Social Partnership 29
Democratic Engagement 28
Maximising Social Value 28
New Models of Meeting Priority Need 28
Innovation 26
Co-production 23
Learning 23
 
 
 
 
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