1  Introduction.

When most people think of the Co-op, they think of a corner shop or possibly the Co-operative Bank with its emphasis on ethical trading.  But the Co-op is part of a world-wide movement committed to the principles of self help, social responsibility and member democracy.  Recent years have seen the decline in the retail movement in Barnet.  There were many more shops than there are now.  That trend is likely to be reversed but not substantially. At present, the main co-operative activities in the Borough are:

      Consumer Co-operatives.           Two Co-operative Group food super-

                                                            markets, two funeral homes and one shoe

                                                            retailer (Shoefayre).

      Credit Unions                                There are three Credit Unions of which two

                                                            are Community based and one which is

Employee-based (Barnet Staff).

        Housing Co-operatives              There are two Housing Co-ops: - the Tally

                                                            Ho Housing Co-op and Co-operative Home

                                                   Services.

      Worker or Employee                    The largest of these in Barnet is the John Owned Co-operatives                  Lewis Partnership with its Waitrose Food supermarkets                                    subsidiary.  It is likely that there are other

                                                            Worker or Employee Owned Co-ops in the

                                                            Borough but there is no data available on

                                                            them.

 

(1.2)  New Co-operative opportunities.

The purpose of this paper is to look beyond the retail sector and to examine other areas where new co-operative initiatives could be beneficial.  They are:

        Urban Regeneration and            appointment of a co-operative

Employment                                 development officer.

                                                            Barnet co-operative development agency.

        Finance Initiatives:                      community-based credit unions

                                                            credit union for the council leaseholders

                                                            community re- investment trust

                                    local exchange trading systems (LETS)

                                                            and other community finance initiatives.

        Housing;                                       tenant management co-operatives, fully

                                                            mutual housing co-ops ,right-to-manage

                                                            companies and commonhold associations.

        Social Care:                                domiciliary and residential care, mothers

                                                            and babies creches, breakfast clubs and

                                                            food co-ops.

        Internet and Communication      Poptel and Phone Co-op.

Technologies

        Externalisation of Public             co-ops to be given priority

     Services

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