Our co-operative approach

Oldham is committed to developing a co-operative future; one where citizens, partners and staff work together to improve the borough and create a confident and ambitious place.

Put simply, becoming a co-operative borough is about everybody doing their bit and everybody benefitting.

In Oldham, working co-operatively can mean many different things. It’s not just about delivering services through co-operatives or mutuals, it’s about working in a way which helps to empower residents to take greater control of their own lives but also gets the maximum benefit from the resources that are available to the community and public sector.

It also encompasses a much broader range of approaches that reflect the values and ethos of co-operatives working. This means working in ways which are ethical, fair and deliver good social value as well as value-for-money. It also means giving residents the opportunity to work in collaboration with us to design and even help deliver services. 

Co-operative spectrum

The Co-operative spectrum

Our spectrum of co-operative working shows the broad range of different ways in which this approach is applied in practice:

  • Working in line with co-operative values and principles: Paying our staff the Living Wage so that no one who works for the council full-time earns less than the local cost of living.
  • Residents actively informing decision making: The Community Call-in pilot offers the opportunity to strengthen local democracy and build closer engagement between communities and decisions made at a district level. It also enhances local accountability and influence people have over local decisions.
  • Co-producing services with communities: Leasing Fulwood Nature Reserve to a community group for a nominal fee, so they can refurbish the reserve and install community gardens, allotments, and sports facilities for local people to use.
  • Services delivered through co-operatives and mutual: Setting-up Oldham Care and Support. This trading company will have a staff council and appoint community champions as non-executive directors, ensuring both representation of its employees and Oldham residents exists and allows them to influence its decisions.

Co-operative Charter

This charter sets out the principles that we will meet in all of our work.

Ethical Framework

This framework established the co-operative values that the council will work to across all of its work.

Co-operative Councils Innovation Network

Oldham is proud to be a member of the Co-operative Councils Innovation Network (CCIN), which we also currently manage.

The CCIN is a national network of local authorities who are committed to finding better ways of working for, and with, their local communities.

The network provides member councils with the opportunity to share best practice and learn from each other’s practical experiences to translate cutting-edge policy thinking into hands-on practice right across the country. 

Oldham’s Co-operative Housing Offer 2014-15

Oldham’s Co-operative Housing Offer 2014-15 sets out how Oldham Council and partners in Oldham Housing Investment Partnership (OHIP) are ‘doing their bit’ to support Oldham’s vision for a co-operative borough.

The  co-operative approach is about changing the relationship with residents, partners and local businesses for the benefit of the borough.

With reduced staffing and funding, the document outlines  our vision for a co-operative borough, where everyone contributes and everyone benefits. The Offer reflects just some of the existing and planned housing activity by partners which supports a greater contribution from residents.

Our co-operative offer is set out around 6 key outcomes:

  • Residents in Oldham can afford to heat their homes
  • Residents understand how to manage their financial affairs
  • Residents do their bit and share resources
  • Residents are proud of where they live and do their bit for their neighbourhood
  • Access to appropriate quality private housing
  • Access to appropriate quality social housing

Download: Oldham's Co-operative Housing Offer


Strategy, Partnerships and Policy team

For more information about Co-operative Oldham contact the Strategy, Partnerships and Policy Team.

Annual Report

From articulating our intention to become a co-operative council and borough in 2011 to co-operative delivery in 2012 and 2013.

Co-operative Annual Report 2013