David Miliband MP paid a visit to Brixton Town Hall yesterday to discuss the borough’s co-operative plans with council leader Steve Reed, other Lambeth Labour counsellors and several local residents.
In an audioboo recording from what he described as the “remarkable 101 year-old town hall”, David Miliband said: “This is a time when there is a lot of discussion of how government is going to retrench. The vision that Steve and his colleagues have outlined to me today is of how you reinvent public action led by local government.”
Reed added: “The traditional model doesn’t work effectively enough anymore, particularly if you’re living in a very poor, very excluded neighbourhood.
“If we can find ways to share or equalise power and give people back more choice and control over what happens to them, we can change the entire relationship between the state and the citizen”
As an example of the co-operative council in action, Reed cited a youth trust to be set up by the council under the control of a democratically elected board. The trust will work with each individual neighbourhood in Lambeth to understand the nature of youth crime problems specific to those areas.