The City of Edinburgh Council 10.00am, Thursday 21 November 2013
A Framework to Advance a Cooperative Capital 2012/17 - Year One Report Item number
Report number Wards
Links Coalition pledges
P6, P11, P15, P28, P37, P53
CO7, CO8, CO10, CO11, CO14, CO23, CO26
Single Outcome Agreement
SO1, SO2, SO3, SO4
Appendix 1 – A Framework to Advance a Cooperative Capital 2012/17 – Year One Report
Alastair D Maclean Director of Corporate Governance Contact: Nick Croft – Corporate Policy and Strategy Manger Email: [email protected]
; Tel: 0131 469 3726
Executive summary A Framework to Advance a Cooperative Capital 2012/17 – Year One Report Summary On 25 October 2012 the Council approved a ‘Framework to Advance a Cooperative Capital 2012/17’ to assist in the delivery of the Capital Coalition vision and pledge commitments. This report seeks approval for the year one report, which provides an update on activities across the six themes of the Framework, indicates progress against specific cooperative pledge commitments, and describes the work of the Cooperative Development Unit. The report also seeks approval for pilot funding to assist in the further development of a specific housing cooperative in the City. This proposed award is in line with pledge commitments and cooperative capital framework objectives. Overall, the report demonstrates good progress across key framework objectives, particularly in relation to cooperative pledge commitments. The report also highlights a number of key challenges faced during year one and for the forthcoming year.
Recommendations It is recommended that the Council:
approve the year one progress report and note the challenges for the year ahead; and approve funding of no more than £25,000 to Craigmillar Eco Housing Co-operative Ltd for pre-development costs.
Measures of success
Installation and/or expansion of cooperative initiatives delivering energy, housing, child care and social care pledges. Number of successful initiatives brought about by the Framework. % positive satisfaction ratings of those involved in initiatives connected with the Cooperative Capital Framework.
Financial impact There is no direct financial impact arising as a result of this report. Resources for cooperative capital framework activities are contained within service area budgets.
Equalities impact The development and implementation of the Framework will assist the Council to deliver key equality and rights outcomes, and better meet the Equality Act 2010 public sector equality duties to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations.
Sustainability impact The development and implementation of the Framework enables the Council to better meet the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 public sector duties, and contributes to the delivery of Sustainable Edinburgh 2020 objectives, in particular the advancement of vibrant flourishing communities, social and economic wellbeing and an efficient and effectively managed city.
Consultation and engagement
40 representatives of coops and social enterprises met in December 2012 to focus upon needs, priorities and capacity building. A workshop for tenants and key stakeholders was held on 29 October 2012 for initial discussions on co-operative approaches to housing. A seminar “The Next Steps” was held on of 12 December 2012 to consider community and cooperative energy in Edinburgh. Two meetings of the Cooperative Capital Expert Group. Ongoing meetings and briefings with Glasgow City Council, East Renfrewshire Council, Dundee Council and Aberdeenshire Council. The Public Social Partnership (PSP) concept was explored with city partners at a conference in the City Chambers on 28 January 2013. Meetings and seminars were arranged on 22 and 31 January 2013 with Council officers and representative from childcare providers and representatives from the Cooperative Enterprise Hub. An officer’s master-class on developing cooperative organisations – May 2013. Launch of Cooperative Glasgow – 6th September 2013. ‘One Year On’ Seminar with over 60 key stakeholders and other interests – 10 October 2013. Accommodation of cooperative principles in the Pride In our People council staff engagement events.
Background reading / external references
Council website pages: www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20234/cooperative_capital
Cooperative Council Network – www.councils.coop
Report A Framework to Advance a Cooperative Capital 2012/17 – Year One Report 1.
The Capital Coalition’s vision is to ‘To build a cooperative and more prosperous Edinburgh in which every resident and community benefits’.
On 25 October 2012, the Council approved the ‘Framework to Advance a Cooperative Capital 2012/17’, and the establishment of the Cooperative Development Unit (CDU), to assist in the delivery of this vision and cooperative pledge commitments.
The Framework consists of six themes, a number of key objectives, and is aligned to Capital Coalition pledges to develop cooperative energy, housing, childcare and social care initiatives. It is consistent with existing ambitions to improve approaches to community planning, community engagement, education, personalisation, service development, procurement and work with the private sector.
The Framework also aspires to develop a different relationship with service users, citizens, communities and partner agencies, where more focus is placed on ‘doing things with people’, rather than ‘doing things to or for people’. In addition, a central theme is to embed approaches in the Council that share and devolve resources and decision making powers with a wider range of citizens, service users and communities.
Work to develop and implement the Framework is coordinated through the CDU, which is located in the organisational Development Division within Corporate Governance. Specific work on the four cooperative pledge commitments (see table below) is coordinated by four project teams, and a link to community planning arrangements in the City is provided by the COMPACT Partnership. An Expert Group has also been established to assist the CDU, project teams and external partners to progress the development of cooperatives and cooperative practice.
Pledge 6 Pledge 11 Pledge 37
Pledge 53 1.6
Establish city-wide childcare co-operatives for affordable childcare for working parents Encourage the development of cooperative housing arrangements Examine ways to bring the Council, care home staff and users together into cooperatives to provide the means to make life better for care home users and care provides Encourage the development of Community Energy Cooperatives
A key development in recent weeks has been the agreement at the Corporate Policy and Strategy Committee for the Council to join the UK Cooperative Council Innovation Network. This was approved on a pilot basis until March 2014. In addition, the CDU is to explore the feasibility of establishing a new Scottish network, linked to the UK Network. The Council is the first local authority in Scotland to join the UK network. This report also seeks funding approval to support a cooperative housing proposal in Craigmillar.
Progress reports on framework themes and objectives have been approved by the Communities and Neighbourhoods Executive Committee on 27 November 2012 and 7 May 2013, and at the Education, Children and Families Committee, Health, Wellbeing and Housing Committee, and Environment and Transport Committee.
These reports identified steady progress across all six themes and key objectives, and indicated good work undertaken by the CDU and the four project teams. A full and detailed account of progress is provided in the ‘Cooperative Capital – Year one Report’, attached at Appendix 1. If this report is approved, plans are in place to circulate it amongst a wide variety of partners across the City and publish it on the CDU website pages.
On the 10 October 2013, the Council Leader and Chief Executive hosted an event, which involved elected members, senior officials and key partners, to reflect on year one of the Framework. Participants were asked to consider key achievements, challenges and actions which would address these. Workshop outputs will be considered carefully and utilised as the project progresses.
A summary of progress in year one is described below, against the six themes of the Framework: Cooperative Societies “Objective – Changing the market and economic infrastructure”
Establishing the CDU, four project teams, and an Expert Group, to develop new coops and support the development of existing coops.
Embedding expert high quality coop advice within the Business Gateway Service. Creating new website resources and a communications plan to support the development of coops. Significant progress with regard to pledge commitments on energy, housing, social care and child care coops. Installation of a £0.4M Innovation Fund for 2013-15 to develop social care coop models.
Cooperative Community Engagement “Objective – Changing our relationship with communities”
Continued improvements in community engagement practice through community learning and development services, youth services, consultation exercises and local community planning teams. Agreeing improvement actions and opportunities to strengthen community engagement through the Neighbourhood Partnership Review. Strengthening strategic community planning arrangements, including more cooperation on tackling poverty, asset and property management and sustainable development. Improving council governance arrangements to better involve parents in education decisions, setting up a new petitions committee, involving external partners in policy development and review sub committees, and opening up Council meetings via webcasts. For the first time in Council history, publishing a full draft budget and engaging communities on budget matters well in advance of the February budget meeting.
Cooperative Procurement “Objective – Changing the way we buy, and fund, goods and services”
Wider use of the Public Social Partnership methodology to commission services, including Checkpoint Groups. Increased use of social and community benefit clauses being applied in council contracts. Revision of the Council’s Procurement Manual to embed cooperative approaches and principles. Significant progress in the grants to third parties review, undertaken in partnership with third sector stakeholders.
Cooperative Education “Objective – Changing the culture of schools and child care”
Progress with regard to cooperation in school clusters as a result of partnership work with the Cooperative Educational Trust. Continued improvements in cooperation with parents through school councils, parent teacher associations, after school clubs and extra curricular activities.
Developing new actions to strengthen pupil involvement in schools, linked to the Curriculum for Excellence. Developing cooperatives, and cooperative approaches, with after school clubs and youth clubs, through the Lothian Association of Youth Clubs. Improving practice in community learning and development services, and strengthening the Edinburgh Community Learning and Development Partnership.
Cooperative Service Design “Objective - Changing the way we review and design services”
Continuing progress on developing approaches to personalisation, self directed support and co-production of health and social care services. Significant developments in the two Total Place projects in Craigroyston and the East Neighbourhood. Expansion of participatory budgeting initiatives. Delivery of a significant number of change fund programmes across the City. Improved consultation practice when reviewing and redesigning services, and developing a new council wide approach to consultation in partnership with the Consultation Institute.
Cooperative Corporate Social Responsibility “Objective – Changing corporate social responsibility to meet city outcomes”
Better connections between the business community, private sector, public sector and third sectors with regard to corporate social responsibility. Initial proposals on setting up a council employee supported volunteering scheme. Continued support and development for joint projects like the Edinburgh Guarantee and Breakfast Club provision in schools.
Whilst the above demonstrates good progress over year one, in a public policy arena which is very new to the UK and to Scotland, a number of challenges have been evident which remain to addressed in the forthcoming years. These are indicated below, and will form a central part of the CDU work programme during year two.
Securing more financial and people resources, to improve knowledge, information and capacity building services, with regard to setting up cooperatives. Addressing the degree of confusion about the differences between setting up cooperatives, and developing a culture and approach based on cooperation. Perceptions of the cooperative capital framework being closely aligned to particular political parties. Being clear about the specific benefits of setting up cooperatives, and adopting a cooperative culture and approach. Cementing work with ‘anchor institutions’ that have experience of setting up cooperatives and who are keen to process cooperative culture in the City.
Addressing concerns amongst some partner organisations that the Council sees cooperatives as a preferred organisational model, as opposed to the Council seeing cooperatives as one of many possible organisational models it can work with. Clarifying ongoing enquiries by the Care Inspectorate about care services being delivered by worker cooperatives or equivalents. Ensuring employee buy-in to a cooperative culture and approach in the Council (i.e. doing things with people, rather than doing things to or for people).
In relation to the Co-operative Societies theme, specific approval is being sought to provide grant funding of up to £25,000 to Craigmillar Eco Housing Cooperative Ltd (CEHC) who are proposing to build 10 affordable homes in the Greendykes area. The proposal supports the Capital Coalition’s pledge to encourage the development of co-operative housing arrangements and, if successful, would help increase the supply of much needed affordable housing.
CEHC registered as a fully mutual non-profit Industrial and Provident Society housing co-operative in July 2013. The CEHC advise that they have secured the funding for the main project and have an in principle agreement with PARC to enter into a negotiation over a suitable Land Option Agreement.
CEHC has identified work that is required to fund pre-development costs of up to £25,000. These costs relate to legal, planning, technical and project management costs. The loan funding from the main funder does not cover these costs. CEHC have asked the Council to fund the pre-development costs.
This report seeks approval in principle to provide the funding for the predevelopment costs from existing SfC budgets, subject to an officer appraisal of the proposal to ensure best value and transparency in awarding grant funding to a third party. The funding would allow the project to progress to the next stage but would not indicate a commitment to provide further financial support to the project.
It is recommended that the Council approve the Year One Report, and note the challenges for the year ahead.
It is recommended that Council approve funding of no more than £25,000 to Craigmillar Eco Housing Co-operative Ltd for pre-development costs.
Alastair D Maclean Director of Corporate Governance
Links Coalition pledges
Single Outcome Agreement
P6 - Establish city-wide co-operatives for affordable childcare for working parents P11 - Encourage the development of co-operative housing arrangements P15 - Work with public organisations, the private sector and social enterprise to promote Edinburgh to investors P28 - Further strengthen our links with the business community by developing and implementing strategies to promote and protect the economic well being of the city P37 - Examine ways to bring the Council, care home staff and users together into co-operatives to provide the means to make life better for care home users P53 - Encourage the development of Community Energy Cooperatives CO7 - Edinburgh draws new investment in development and regeneration CO8 - Edinburgh’s economy creates and sustains job opportunities CO10 - Improved health and reduced inequalities CO11 - Preventative and personalised support in place CO14 - Communities have the capacity to help support people CO23 - Well engaged and well informed – Communities and individuals are empowered and supported to improve local outcomes and foster a sense of community CO26 – The Council engages with stakeholders and works in partnership to improve services and deliver on agreed objectives. SO1 - Edinburgh's Economy Delivers increased investment, jobs and opportunities for all SO2 - Edinburgh's citizens experience improved health and wellbeing, with reduced inequalities in health SO3 - Edinburgh's children and young people enjoy their childhood and fulfil their potential SO4 - Edinburgh's communities are safer and have improved physical and social fabric Appendix 1 – A Framework to Advance a Cooperative Capital 2012/17 – Year One Report
A Framework to Advance a Cooperative Capital 2012/17
Year One Report 2012-13
A Framework to Advance a Cooperative Capital 2012/17 For more information go to: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20234/cooperative_capital
1. Cooperative Societies
2. Cooperative Community Engagement
• Energy • Housing • Child Care • Adult Social Care • Cooperative Development Unit • Expert Group
• Neighbourhood Partnership Review • VoiCE • Edinburgh Partnership • Youth engagement • Asset Transfer • Council L and D
Changing the market and economic infrastructure
Changing our relationship with communities
3. Cooperative Procurement
4. Cooperative Education
5. Cooperative Service Design
• Community Benefit Clauses • Public Social Partnerships • Third Sector • Sustainability Policy • Grants Review
• After School Clubs • ChildCare • School Clusters • Parent and Pupil Involvement • Community Learning and Development
• Total Place • Participatory Budgeting • Personalisation • Cooperative Place Making • Council L and D
Changing the way we buy and grant aid goods and services
Changing the culture of schools and childcare
Changing the way we review and design services
6. Cooperative Corporate Social Responsibility • CSR Audit • Employee Supported Volunteering • CSR Fundraising
Changing CSR to meet city outcomes
This document is structured around the Cooperative capital themes set out in the diagram on the preceding page. The sections describe Council and partner action to take forward Council commitments around Housing, Adult Social Care, Childcare and Energy, and the other themes of the Framework.
The Cooperative Development Unit (CDU) has been assisted by an Expert Working Group from the cooperative/social enterprise community which was set up in October 2012. The members of the Working Group provide guidance to the CDU in taking forward the programme and have provided a master-class in developing coop organisations for council staff. Members from the group are also involved in the working groups charged with developing cooperative organisations.
The Expert Group continues to emphasise the following in order for Edinburgh to encourage good practice:
promotion to maximise awareness of the benefits of coops and cooperative engagement across the city, neighbourhoods, businesses and the social sectors; thematic events, providing exemplar case studies, demonstrating the potential for coops and identifying coop champions as ways to improve engagement and interest; support for of the Council's framework approach of creating conditions in which market opportunities and inter-trading can be maximised; and ensuring that not-for-profit options are promoted alongside cooperatives.
The CDU have committed to an annual meeting with the Expert Group to review progress on implementation of the framework and to increased and regular contact to encourage and facilitate engagement with the sector at a strategic level. In addition opportunities for capitalising on the experience and expertise of this group will be maximised to ensure the optimum benefit for all parties is realised.
It is critical to ensure Council staff commitment to the benefits of the Cooperative Capital key messages and included in a range of approaches to this is the inclusion of this topic in the Council’s Pride In our People Programme.
Over the last twelve months, officer and member visits to; Lambeth, Cambuslang, Liverpool, Glasgow and other areas has helped to provide valuable insight into the potential for cooperatives and cooperative working within a range of work streams and service delivery areas. In addition, the Corporate Policy and Strategy Committee on 3rd October agreed that the Council should become a member of the Cooperative Council Innovation Network. It is anticipated that the benefits of this arrangement will help move projects on significantly over the next period.
In developing the Framework, a range of additional benefits have accrued, these have been:
strengthened engagement with of other Councils in particular Glasgow and Dundee; and mainstreaming of the cooperative approach across partnerships at city and local levels leading to strengthened relations and mutual understanding across partner organisations.
Appendix 1 1.8
On 10 October a seminar was held in the City Chambers, entitled Cooperative Capital One Year On, to review progress over the 1st year of the Cooperative Capital Framework.
The event was attended by over 60 people representing a wide range of stakeholders including, Councillors, Council officials, Third sector representatives, members of the Coop Expert Group, Tenant representatives and private sector organisations.
The meeting provided an excellent opportunity to objectively consider and review progress and to identify and discuss opportunities going forward.
As part of the event, workshops were convened to consider the delivery of the Cooperative Capital Agenda the results of which will be considered carefully and used as the project progresses. Particular attention will be paid to the key themes which emerged including:
clarifying the relationship and role of cooperatives and cooperative working within the framework; improving dissemination of the Cooperative Capital agenda across all sectors; utilising more effectively the skills and expertise that currently exist across the Cooperative network and specifically with the Expert Working Group; addressing legislative and procedural barriers; improving the sharing of best practice and the highlighting of successful outcomes.
Theme 1 - Cooperative Societies 2.1
Pledge 6 - Establish city-wide childcare co-operatives for affordable childcare for working parents
A Service Level Agreement with Lothian Association of Youth Clubs (LAYC) has been agreed to provide a range of support and advice to the Out of School Care sector, including identifying and helping those who wish to make the transition to co-operative status.
LAYC has established a partnership with Morton Fraser legal services, and the Co-operative Enterprise Hub (CEH) to provide guidance to After School Care (ASC) clubs with regard to any change in governance to that of a co-operative or a Scottish Incorporated Organisation (SCIO).
As a consequence of this work, one ASC club is moving forward with CEH in order that a decision might be made as to whether it would be appropriate to change their governance to become a co-operative. Another two clubs are taking forward their interest in strengthening the legal protection to their committees to becoming SCIOs.
Work is being undertaken to develop co-operative approaches between clubs to strengthen their mutual support and enhance the sector. LAYC are supporting clubs by exploring the creation of a 'co-operative charter' to develop the cooperative principles that might be adopted by participating clubs, and formalise these arrangements.
A Steering Group is being formed, chaired by the Head of Schools and Community Services, to monitor and support activity around the development of co-operative childcare, taking cognisance of the wider commitment to develop affordable childcare within the city.
A plan to consult with members of the playgroup sector is being developed in order to establish how best to support them using more co-ordinated and cooperative approaches. It will be possible to use the learning from the initiatives being developed within the Out of School Care sector, although account will need to be taken of the particular environment of the playgroup sector.
The development of a co-operative approach to delivering a community crèche in North Edinburgh is underway. The consortium is awaiting a decision regarding their funding application to the Big Lottery in order to take this work forward.
Pledge 11 - Encourage the development of cooperative housing arrangements
A new housing co-operative, Craigmillar Eco Housing Co-operative Ltd, has been set up in Craigmillar. The Co-op is proposing to develop around 10 affordable homes in East Edinburgh and formal approval is being sought to help support the group with initial project development costs.
A model for Community Co-operatives in 21st Century Homes developments at West Pilton and Greendykes is being developed. This approach will be piloted with new tenants from 2014. This will be a new form of co-operative which brings together new residents and neighbourhood housing management staff to work together to ensure that residents have significant influence on the management of their homes and their neighbourhood.
Appendix 1 2.2.3
A Cross Party Political Sounding Board has been set up to establish an action plan, monitor progress and advise on strategy and policy development for this pledge. The Sounding Board has representation from Councillors, Edinburgh Tenants Federation (ETF), the Edinburgh Affordable Housing Partnership and Trades Unions.
Consultation on a ‘Draft Framework for a Co-operative Approach to Housing Services’ was carried out 1 May-31July 2013. The consultation included focus groups with Council staff and tenants representatives as well as an online survey.
In general, those who responded to the survey and took part in focus groups were positive about the principle of encouraging co-operative housing arrangements. There was recognition that the Council already works co-operatively with customers in many areas and many felt there should be a focus on strengthening communication and collaborative approaches to make it more effective.
Feedback on the consultation has been provided to Sounding Board members and to those who took part in the consultation exercise. A summary will also be published on the Council’s website. There is a dedicated webpage on the Council website relating to co-operative housing arrangements and it encourages people to come forward with their views and ideas at any time.
Co-operative and collaborative approaches are evident in tenant participation and in the partnerships with housing associations both to build new homes and to let homes through a common housing register and choice based lettings. This continues in the approach to consultation, for example, in the recent collaborative consultation on Advice and Support for the Homelessness Prevention Commissioning Plan.
Other co-operative and collaborative developments include establishing a Joint Management Board with ETF for the Council’s Stair Cleaning Service. The Board is continuing to discuss options, based on co-operative principles, to enable residents to become more involved in the management of their stairs.
The Council participated in the South East of Scotland energy switching project. This collective energy switching project, funded by the Energy Saving Trust, allowed communities to use their collective buying power to get a better deal on energy bills. New supply arrangements have been in place since June and, in Edinburgh, 116 switches took place saving participating households an estimated total of £16,000 on their energy bills.
Links between the co-operative approaches to delivering housing and energy services continue to be explored. The Council has had initial discussions with housing associations who are exploring the feasibility of a residential Energy Service Company (ESCO).
Pledge 37 - Examine ways to bring the Council, care home staff and users together into cooperatives to provide the means to make life better for care home users and care provides
This pledge has been extended to include people who receive support in their own home as well as in care homes. Work is progressing on both creating a cooperative culture in health and social care services and the development of cooperative businesses, owned and run by and for their members whether they are customers, employees or residents.
Appendix 1 2.3.2
A range of activity is taking place in care homes for older people to foster and embed a co-operative culture and ethos. This work is being co-ordinated through the “Working Together to Achieve Excellent Care” programme and a project team has been established. Together with residents, relatives, providers and NHS Lothian colleagues, they are reviewing and updating care home resident participation strategies; providing meaningful activities for residents in a way that recognises their own life stories and interests and progressing a variety of workforce development initiatives which draw on the expertise to be found in the communities in which care homes are located.
Consultation with the voluntary and private sector health and social care provider organisations on the draft Market Shaping Strategy makes clear a commitment to the development of cooperative and social enterprises supported by the launch on 1 October of an Innovation Fund, worth £400k over 2 years. The Fund specifically invites applications for a contribution of up to £50,000 towards the cost of developing health and social care cooperatives and social enterprises. The Fund will also support initiatives being led by Edinburgh residents seeking to establish cooperatives dedicated to the long term care and support of their severely disabled adult relatives.
Exploratory discussions have been held with an organisation based in England that has established a number of employee owned home care cooperatives. Staff and elected members from Edinburgh visited one of the cooperatives in the north of England at the end of 2012, following which discussions took place about the possibility of the organisation establishing a cooperative in Edinburgh. Whilst these discussions were useful in clarifying some of the issues that would need to be addressed in establishing a home care cooperative, the organisation decided that they were not in a position to move forward with such a development in Edinburgh. This is however, an option that Health and Social Care are actively pursuing through the proposal to invest in an employee owned home care cooperative through the Innovation Fund.
Work is taking place on developing proposals and exploring funding options to make Council/NHS Lothian e learning and other workforce development tools available to voluntary and private sector providers of health and social care services, via a new co-operative venture, with a view to standardising the induction and other training all care workers in Edinburgh receive, regardless of who their employer is. We also want to achieve an optimum level of financial efficiency in the delivery of e learning. The co-operative would also provide access to IT and other resources for training purposes on behalf of its members.
As part of the approach taken to the delivery of the Personalisation Programme, Health and Social Care has been keen to ensure that people who use social care services and frontline staff are involved in helping to shape the way in which the social care services of the future are planned and developed. In order to achieve this two separate groups have been established which exemplify coproduction and cooperative ways of working.
Appendix 1 2.4
Pledge 53 - Encourage the development of Community Energy Cooperatives
The “Edinburgh Community Energy Hub” has been established as a sub group of the Sustainable Edinburgh Development Partnership as a means of better coordinating community energy initiatives and information exchange in the city. The Group’s agreed remit is to:
facilitate communication and information sharing between energy projects in Edinburgh which benefit the community; and create a forum to provide advice and support for delivering energy projects in the city.
The group has identified three priority areas of interest which are:
solar-voltaic (PV) power; district heating; and electric car charging points.
It has also established a programme of meetings to the end of the year hosted by the University of Edinburgh and facilitated by Changeworks.
Under the Energy Hub umbrella, representatives of the Edinburgh Community Energy Co-operative are working with the Council to progress the concept of a community-owned city-wide solar PV initiative. This initiative has the potential to locate solar panels on a variety of council owned buildings across the city. To progress this initiative, a new solar co-operative would need to be formed, as an Industrial and Provident Society, which will then raise the necessary funding required for the project by means of a community share offer. Similar initiatives elsewhere in the UK generate sufficient income to finance a “community benefit’” fund, to provide interest to shareholders at favourable rates and to offer electricity at discounted rates to host buildings.
The Council is in dialogue with a potential partner with a view to the inclusion of Council owned homes in a new Energy Services Company to be established in 2014. This initiative will deliver a range of energy services and social benefits to Council and other social housing tenants.
The Council is in dialogue with a potential partner with a view to the inclusion of Council owned buildings into an existing city-centre district heating network and, at a later date, the including of Council owned tower blocks in Moredun into a new district heating network being developed at the adjacent Bio Quarter.
Theme 2 - Cooperative Community Engagement 3.1
Delivery of this aspect of the Framework is placed within the Compact and Neighbourhood Partnership structures.
The review of Neighbourhood Partnerships (NPs) as part of the review of Council governance arrangements has been an opportunity to build on existing partnership working which contributes to the Council’s co-operative approach. As Advisory Committees of the Council, NPs are a key part of the Council’s neighbourhood approach and the city’s community planning framework.
The review remit identified key strands of work focused on developing and strengthening current practice, enhancing community participation and strengthening the strategic influence of NPs.
The review process has included a range of engagement activities including themed workshops, stakeholder meetings and an online survey with a total of 313 contributions being made by a range of stakeholders.
As a result of this initial phase of work five thematic priorities were identified which form the basis of a suite of improvement options, being;
Community Engagement; Accountability and Governance; Partner Involvement; Influence; and Good Practice
The next phase of the review involves the development of NP local improvement plans for which community engagement will play a vital part. A draft Strategic Improvement Plan for NPs, based around these themes, was noted by Council on 21 October 2013.
The Edinburgh Partnership continues to improve the quality and extent of cooperative working in the City, both with statutory and voluntary sector partners, and communities and citizens. Notable achievements over the year have been (i) approval of a new Community Plan 13/16, which was recognised as progressive and of high quality by the Scottish Government; (ii) strengthening health and third sector involvement at the partnership Board and Executive; (iii) developing new partnership initiatives to promote cooperative asset management, place making and sustainable development; (iv) launching a new partnership development fund for 13/16 of around £170,000 to strengthen partnership working, (v) better linking Neighbourhood Partnership management and activity into the Board and Executive, and (vi) strengthening the Edinburgh Community Learning and Development Partnership.
The Partnership Executive and Board have now agreed a new Improvement Plan 13/16. Critical to this plan is the need to further rationalise and prioritise outcomes, indicators and actions to reflect genuine shared priorities in the City, to strengthen Board and Executive governance and further improve the quality of community and citizen engagement.
The new Edinburgh Local Police Plan 2013/14 adopts a cooperative approach when engaging with local communities. In its development, increased use was made of street surgeries, surveys, sessions with communities, hosted events (one in each Neighbourhood Partnership area) and ward based data.
Appendix 1 3.10
A number of new political arrangements, including; the new Petitions Committee, early release and broader consultation with city communities on the Council’s budget 2014-17, the Lord Provost's 'inclusive city' theme and stronger engagement between third sector and Council Committees and member visits to community projects are contributing to increased engagement and understanding.
In addition progress around youth engagement can be reported including: An NP youth facilities review in Liberton/ Gilmerton, engaging over 1,500 local young people and gathering their views on how local services and facilities should be developed and improved. The review has used creative ways to involve young people including street based activity, one to one video interviews, graffiti workshops, local community mapping, opinion polls using voting boxes, secondary school based activity and has supported a core group of young people to lead the process; and an initiative for young people to become ‘participation mentors’ is entering a second round of training. Feedback has been excellent and the young people who took part have just planned and delivered a youth gathering, where they facilitated other young people to prioritise issues for Edinburgh young people.
In addition two ongoing projects the Scottish Youth Parliament and the Edinburgh Youth Issues Forum should also be noted
Theme 3 - Cooperative Procurement 4.1
Early in 2013, the Compact Partnership Board undertook two seminars focussing upon maximising social value in a commissioning and/or procurement setting. This has led to the establishment of a strategic steering group, to:
ensure that services are shaped around the needs of users; to promote appropriate application and business opportunities provided by these clauses; and strengthen the application of social value across the formation of public policy and strategy.
In March 2013 a draft mission statement on applying social value was proposed to the Edinburgh Partnership. Following consideration, the principles were included in the new Community Plan 2013-17/SOA 4.
A new corporate Sustainable Procurement Task Group (SPTG) has been established which, working in partnership with the Commercial and Procurement Service, will ensure application of the Council's Policy and Action Plan as agreed in January and March 2012 respectively. The objectives for the group include:
provision of support material to enable the application of social clauses, coproduction and joint service design, strengthen the application of sustainability in particular whole-of-life costing; and undertake activities to build the capacity and competency of the supplier market.
The Commercial and Procurement service are increasingly applying social clauses in capital and service contracts where appropriate. Guidance on the inclusion of Community Benefits in Procurement (CBiPs) is being introduced into the Council's Procurement Handbook and there are some productive examples being provided through the Market-Shaping Strategy, the Royal Edinburgh PSP project - similar to an existing range of practices in Health and Social Care and Children and Families such as Checkpoint Group methodologies.
Over the last year around 200 Council and partner agency staff have attended a series of free seminar events run by the Scottish Government’s Ready for Business programme.
The Council initiated a review of grants to third parties in February 2012, in response to the Capital Coalition Budget Motion, covering the £22.95M currently awarded through the annual corporate grants process. The review is intended to promote best value and organisational sustainability and is being led the Communities and Neighbourhoods Committee, in partnership with a Member Officer Working Group.
To date, extensive consultation and survey work has been undertake as part of the review, with initial findings indicating high levels of funding leverage, volunteer hours, service users satisfaction and social value realised as a result of council grant investment. The primary change proposals emerging from the review to date are (i) developing new grant aid programmes more closely aligned to council outcomes and pledge commitments, (ii) aligning decision making on new grant programmes to the relevant Executive Committee, (iii) introducing three year grant agreements as standard, (iv) introducing the notion of strategic partners status with five year agreements for key strategic funded partners and (v) improving corporate coordination of grants.
Theme 4 - Cooperative Education 5.1
To raise awareness of the Council’s desire to develop childcare cooperatives, meetings were convened in early 2013 with representative from childcare providers, representatives from the Co-operative Enterprise Hub and officers from Children and Families Directorate and other partner interests.
As a consequence of these meetings a plan was developed to:
support organisations that are currently interested in pursuing the cooperative model; facilitate a forum for providers who have expressed an interest in exploring options to work more cooperatively; develop a ‘pathway’ describing the routes to support.
Children and Families is developing co-operative education and learning in the Broughton Cluster. So far, this work has resulted in a range of activities for pupils and staff across the cluster that reflects the development of co-operative values, principles and operational practices. A number of outcomes are envisaged through this work, including:
the cluster could apply for Cooperative Schools status; closer links will be developed with the business community; and the development of an SQA in cooperative working.
Representatives from the cluster have also participated in the International Association for the Study of Co-operation in Education in July, using the learning in further CPD and planning events in the cluster. 5.4
Cooperation and collaboration with pupils and parents is a well established practice within the Education Service. The Education, Children an Families committee at its October 2013 meeting approved the Parental Engagement and Support Strategy 2013 – 20 key areas of which are strengthening of parent/carer engagement in their child’s learning, development of effective communication and consultation, development of effective partnership working and opportunities for and removal of barriers to engagement, development of parent and pupil voice, strengthening of parent councils and their involvement with school, community and department and assistance to parents through parenting support when required.
Committee may also wish to note these examples which also support this agenda:
Annual parent and carer surveys across the primary, secondary and special schools; Extensive community engagement to inform the future of Castlebrae Community High School; Extensive consultation with parents, carers and other stakeholders on Scottish Government proposals to increase nursery hours provision from 475 to 600; Student Councils established and active in most schools; The Young People in Care Council which actively engages with looked after children to influence service development and delivery; and A Parents Forum for children with disabilities.
Theme 5 - Cooperative Service Design 6.1
The approaches to ‘Total Place’ through ‘Total Neighbourhood’ in East Edinburgh, and ‘Total Craigroyston’ in North Edinburgh, are developing well. Over the year, a range of engagement activity with a diversity of stakeholders has developed addressing; concept, role of service users, providers experience and preferred mechanisms for involvement. In test areas, area profile and stakeholder mapping is in process. A key element of the project continues to focus around a desire to empower staff to engage and work better together, continuous dialogue with service users and both identify problems and in finding solutions.
Across Total Neighbourhood:
Robust governance arrangements and an engagement programme with stakeholders has been developed; and Lochend and Niddrie House have been identified as appropriate areas to focus current activity and effort. Area profile and stakeholder mapping is currently in process.
Within the Total Craigroyston initiative a programme of engagement and consultation events has been carried out resulting in the production of the Total Craigroyston Road Map which identified seven themes being, a place to; Belong, Thrive, Bring up a family, Be safe, Learn and Live, and a Place that You Know.
In relation to Participatory Budgeting, there are several good examples in the city. The “Leith Decides” Neighbourhood Partnership initiative is now in its third year with local communities deciding priorities from a set group of projects (most recently £22,000 of spend was decided by 900 participants for 2013-14). It is anticipated that the principle of participatory budgeting could be further applied across NP Community Grants.
The ongoing Canny wi' Cash initiative, managed by EVOC, is believed to be a UK first for participatory budgeting with its focus on a community of interest rather than place. In late October 2013, Edinburgh’s older generation, will determine how £35k of small grants for enhancing older peoples services in the city will be allocated.
The Library Service is working with Health and Social Care and volunteers to extend Community Connecting as well as the accessibility of library services for individuals with mobility problems. A new home visiting service in Libraries will seek to address isolation and exclusion and contribute towards more active and “connected” living for individuals.
In September 44 independent groups agreed to form an umbrella body – the Edinburgh Parks Friends Forum. This will be serviced by Parks and Greenspace to provide a collective voice to Friends of Parks groups, ensure the sharing of good practice, find solutions to common issues and opportunities, and improve dialogue between the Council and park users.
Roads and Transport Service Review is aimed at improving customer service, effectiveness and efficiency or road related services from maintenance and street lighting through to transport policy. A survey completed by more than 3,000 citizens, an extensive focus group exercise and Neighbourhood Partnership meetings have all been about identifying customer priorities and have exposed facts that have surprised managers such as – the Clarence Service is not widely known to the public. Customer engagement will continue throughout the review to its conclusion in 2014.
Theme 6 - Cooperative Corporate Social Responsibility 7.1
The May meeting of the Communities and Neighbourhoods Committee agreed that this new theme be included within the Cooperative Capital Framework. It is intended that this theme provide the main route for the SME/business sector to engage with the third sector and communities across the city with the joint purpose of community benefit.
Discussions have recently occurred with a range of business interest groups including the Edinburgh Chamber, Scottish Business in the Community, Federation of Small Business and with the Business Development Partnership. As a result three main themes are coming forward, these are:
the need to be clear on the range and purpose of the theme; business wants to make a difference in the community; and there are existing and many other ways that this can occur.
In order to enable a joint way forward, a seminar is planned to involve the public, private and third sectors to identify mutual opportunities for collaboration and cooperation.
A key element of the Council’s Investor in People Award was to provide for additional efforts around the CSR. In this regard within the Edinburgh Compact Volunteering Strategy the Council has committed to developing a two year pilot Employer Supported Volunteering (ESV) Scheme, and discussions are underway with third sector representatives on ways to enable business to invest in and support Edinburgh’s communities.
A key aspect of the Compact’s Social Enterprise Strategy is to strengthen engagement across the SME/business sector and third sector groups – with a view to attracting investment for community benefit and return. It is intended that a new development called ‘Compact Exchange’ will provide the interface for this cross-sectoral engagement, promoting business and cross-trading benefits, improving skills through volunteering, connections with communities and lines on investment. This new service will be established in 2014/15.