The Tower Hamlets Co-operative Commission was launched virtually this week by Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs, Tower Hamlets Deputy Mayor Councillor Rachel Blake and Labour & Co-operative representatives, with support from the Co-operative Party. The commission will examine how co-operative values and principles could inform a fairer and more sustainable recovery from Covid-19 in the Tower Hamlets, and develop a long-term economic strategy with practical recommendations for the expansion of co-operatives and co-operation in the borough.

The Commission will launch a public call for evidence where residents, businesses and community organisations in Tower Hamlets, alongside representatives of the wider co-operative movement, can contribute to the Commission’s work. The Commission will also focus on policy areas such as food security, care, last mile delivery, fuel poverty and community energy, and community co-operation.

The Commission’s report will be delivered ahead of the 2022 elections in the borough, with policy proposals and recommendations in the context of a wider strategic economic vision for Tower Hamlets – aiming to tackle inequality and help create a fairer and more productive local economy.

Councillor Rachel Blake, Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets and Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing said:

“Tower Hamlets is a diverse borough with a strong history of community co-operation, and in the last 18 months, we have really seen the local communities rally together in the face of the difficulties posed by this pandemic.

The Tower Hamlets Co-Operative Commission will support us to tackle the inequalities faced by many in Tower Hamlets, bringing forward new ideas, and I look forward to working with co-operatives and social enterprises across London to create a stronger and fairer local economy.”

Mayor of Tower Hamlets and Chair of the Tower Hamlets Co-operative Commission John Biggs said:

“During the pandemic, Tower Hamlets came together in a spirit of co-operation – and as we rebuild and reopen now is a good time to look at how that spirit can be developed in the ways we work and provide services. The principles of cooperation are a good foundation for this work.

Our Commission will explore how co-operation can be used to build a strong recovery where everyone in our community has a say and a stake. We know that through co-operation, we can solve some of the toughest challenges facing Tower Hamlets today.”

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