Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Brookside to pilot Telford & Wrekin co-operative council scheme

I attended the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Brookside Improvement Group (BIG) tonight.

The main topic of discussion was regeneration and in particular the welcome news that regeneration for Brookside is a top priority and that the Telford & Wrekin council cabinet is to visit Brookside next month to see how run down the estate is for themselves.

We also learnt that Brookside is to be the pilot ward for the borough council's co-operative council scheme.  What's more, we also learnt what co-operative council means - it's basically the Tories' Big Society by another name.  It means charities, volunteer groups and the like providing services for the council and in return, having a say in how services are configured.

We will have to wait and see how the co-operative council materially benefits Brookside but the increased focus on the ward is bound to bring some benefits.  Some elements of Telford & Wrekin's co-operative council scheme are apparently unique so they will be very keen to make it work.  That means that initiatives coming from groups like BIG, Brookside Xtra and other grass roots community groups are much more likely to get support from the borough council.

How this scheme impacts the parish council is something we will find out in time I guess.  Tonight was the first I have heard about what the co-operative council means and Brookside's role in it and I suspect the rest of the parish council are equally clueless.