Oldham has been a Co-operative Council since 2011 – and since then we’ve made great strides working together to improve our borough.

But what exactly is a Co-operative Council?

How does it work and what part can you play to improve things where you live?

What makes Oldham different is the way that we do things.

The Co-operative Council approach starts with all of us all recognising our shared problems or ambitions.

We then sit down together to look at what each of us needs to do in order to get a better result that benefits the borough.

We have many examples of where this has produced some fantastic results but we also came to realise that the language could be explained better.

That's why we're now explaining co-operative working in a different way.

It’s one that we think is simpler, self-explanatory and works better for all kinds of audiences and platforms.

In everything that we do – from delivering everyday services to improving people's lives or helping the private sector to grow our local economy – there's a simple formula explaining how it works, what is required of each participant and what the outcome is.

It is #ourbit #yourbit #result

To explain:

#ourbit is what Oldham Council is doing or contributing to help improve something

#yourbit is how local people, businesses and partners are helping to make change happen

And the #result is how we are all benefiting from working together.

Here's a simple high-level example of that in action - Get Oldham Working.

#ourbit was to come up with a plan in 2013 to try and create new employment-related opportunities for local residents; attempting to link them better and smarter to businesses.

#yourbit was the local firms who have come forward with hundreds of offers of new jobs, apprenticeships and work placements - and the residents who stepped up seeking advice and assistance.

The #result is that by the end of last month a fantastic total of 6,264 new opportunities have now been created for local people. Business and people have been matched together by our free recruitment service that also removes both the stress and costs of recruitment for all sides.

That also means many families' bottom lines and their prospects have been improved - and that means new money and spend injected into our local economy; increasing the confidence of residents and business alike. Everyone is benefiting.

Being a Co-operative Council is essentially an informal contract between Oldham Council and lots of different, businesses, partners and people across the borough to muck in.

We're also using this new approach with all our staff to get them to look honestly at the service they are providing and be able to ask the right questions about it, and test whether it is truly co-operative, or if something is wrong.

The simple aim of all this is to make it easier for everyone to understand how they can play their own part – big or small – in improving things in Oldham.