Oldham’s Co-operative Council: A social productivity framework - RSA

Oldham’s Co-operative Council: A social productivity framework


  • Business and entrepreneurship
  • Community and place-based action
  • Public services
  • Social productivity

At a time when most councils face huge fiscal, demand and political pressures, Oldham Council has embarked on an ambitious journey to become a co-operative borough. 

The past few years have seen a determined attempted by council leaders to improve the quality of governance within the borough and to tackle the challenge of building a sustainable economic and social future for Oldham.

In this report, we assess Oldham's progress against its co-operative vision and what must still be done to achieve it. While the council has come some way in its journey,  a number of challenges towards realising its co-operative vision still remain. The report recommends that the council introduces a clear 'roadmap for change' through which its citizens can hold the local authority to account; offers partners a 'new co-operative deal', setting out the commitments expected from citizens, public sector organisations and local businesses; carries out a spending and growth review for social productivity in Oldham in the run up to HM Treasury's 2013 Spending Review; and strengthens the Local Leaders Programme, including more support for councillors and better use of new technology.

This report was supported by Oldham Council and Local Government Leadership.



Picture of Atif Shafique
Research Assistant

Picture of Ben Lucas
Director, 2020 Public Services Trust

Picture of Henry Kippin
Henry Kippin
Former Associate Former Associate and Director of Collaborate

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