Greenwich Co-operative Commission

Call to evidence.

Published: Friday, 15th March 2024

We are proud to announce the launch of our Co-operative Commission, a pivotal initiative aimed at shaping the future of co-operative collaboration within the borough.

The commission will have a special focus on improving three key areas: community energy, cooperative development, and social care. 

The borough already has a rich history of co-operation, dating back to mid 18th Century in Woolwich and Royal Arsenal with the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society. Since then, organisations and councils have continued working in collaboration to support residents across the borough.  

This commission is a significant step towards fostering more community-driven solutions to address challenges faced by residents and businesses alike. 

The Council will be exploring how the cooperative sector can respond to some of our key challenges and which in turn will encourage the sector to grow. As part of that work the Council will be asking people across the borough to reflect on best practices and help build a long-term strategy for working together to achieve more. 

A council spokesperson said:  "The launch of the Co-operative Commission marks a pivotal moment in our borough's history.  

“We’re using the power of collaboration to create meaningful change and address the needs of our residents and businesses, with a focus on community energy, cooperative development, and social care.”  

Chair of the Commission said: “We are confident that we can produce a report that demonstrates the value of applying cooperative principles to local public services and enables the council to develop ways of working closely with the communities they serve.  

“Co-operatives are practical, hardnosed business led service providers that work well to make services more people focused and put consumers in control. Increasingly residents want value for money public services run and produced in their name.  

“Our Commission will aim to shine a light on good practice and improve the quality of services through innovation and public participation.” 

By working cooperatively, the Council is looking to give ownership and control back to all our residents, inviting them to suggest new initiatives that can empower them, and create environmentally friendly and sustainable projects that last. 

In the realm of social care, the Council is working to tackle health inequalities and improve outcomes for care recipients, families, and care workers alike. 

Our commissioners include: 

  • Four current councillors from the Royal Borough of Greenwich
  • Two current Members of Lords
  • Ed Mayo, CEO of charity Pilotlight, former Secretary General of Co-operatives UK  
  • Afsheen Khabir Rashid MBE, CEO and Co-Founder, Repowering London and Community Energy England
  • Giovanna Speciale, Founder and CEO of South East London Community Energy (SELCE)   
  • Emma Back, Founder, Equal Care Co-op 
  • Nick Plumb, Associate Director for Policy and Insight, Power to Change 
  • Claire Pritchard, Director, Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency    
  • Richard Mason, Senior Project Officer, London Ownership Hub 

For more information about the Co-operative Commission and to give evidence, visit: royalgreenwich.gov.uk/co-op-commission