Coun­cil chief praises ‘vi­tal’ role of vol­un­teer ser­vices

Rochdale Observer - - YOUR VIEWS BIG PICTURE -

ROCHDALE coun­cil leader Allen Brett has hailed the im­por­tance of the vol­un­tary sec­tor to Greater Manch­ester.

Speak­ing at a city cen­tre event where lo­cal lead­ers set out their vi­sion for the fu­ture of the re­gion, he said ‘third sec­tor’ or­gan­i­sa­tions had a more vi­tal role to play than ever in the wake of aus­ter­ity. Coun Brett has worked closely with Greater Manch­ester Mayor Andy Burn­ham to set out the re­gion’s fu­ture re­la­tion­ship with the sec­tor – in­clud­ing the sign­ing of an ac­cord with the conur­ba­tion’s 16,000 vol­un­tary, com­mu­nity and so­cial en­ter­prise or­gan­i­sa­tions.

He also chairs a com­mis­sion that looks into how co-op­er­a­tives can help Greater Manch­ester achieve its goals around jobs, ed­u­ca­tion and pub­lic ser­vices, as well as re­duc­ing in­equal­ity.

Re­spond­ing to a ques­tion from Greater Manch­ester Deputy Mayor, Baroness Bev­er­ley Hughes, Coun Brett said the third sec­tor was ‘vi­tal to the econ­omy’.

He added: “And it’s even more vi­tal now with the fact that many lo­cal gov­ern­ment ser­vices have been cur­tailed. The vol­un­tary sec­tor has – not re­placed them – but stepped in to try to help.”

Coun Brett went on to say that mea­sures such as be­com­ing a mem­ber of the Co-oper­a­tive Coun­cils In­no­va­tion Net­work (CCIN) would ‘en­sure that Greater Manch­ester stays at the fore­front of co-op­er­a­tion and the full move­ment’.

Un­der the CCIN coun­cils work to­gether to find bet­ter ways of work­ing for – and with – the com­mu­ni­ties they serve. And Coun Brett agreed with Baroness Hughes that vol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tions also played a cru­cial role in help­ing coun­cils reach peo­ple in their com­mu­ni­ties.

He said: “The sec­tor goes ev­ery­where, it has to be a grass­roots up and not a top-down thing.

“We seem to con­cen­trate on co-op­er­a­tives, my back­ground is in that and we have the largest con­sumer co-oper­a­tive based here in the city cen­tre. But we have to re­mem­ber there are smaller co-op­er­a­tives in every bor­ough through­out Greater Manch­ester. The other big ar­eas they have a vi­tal role to play is in hous­ing and I think we will see that.

“The other one, that again fits in with the Mayor’s strat­egy are cy­cling co-op­er­a­tives and all as­pects of it.”

●●This pic­ture of a kestrel was taken in Nor­den by Terry An­gus. Email your pic­tures to us at rochda­le­ob­[email protected]­media.co.uk or up­load them to our flickr site at flickr.com/groups/rochdalepics

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