Local example shows co-operatives are the way forward

SAY what you like about politicians, but they re a clever bunch. How else would they have managed to get away with fiddling their expenses for so long without being noticed? They are also particularly adept at taking old ideas and revamping them as if the

SAY what you like about politicians, but they're a clever bunch.

How else would they have managed to get away with fiddling their expenses for so long without being noticed?

They are also particularly adept at taking old ideas and revamping them as if they are suddenly brand spanking new.

Witness the Conservatives this week announcing that they are going to champion "worker co-operatives", whereby public sector staff, such as teachers or health workers, would get involved with how services are delivered.


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Shadow chancellor George Osborne declared the scheme to be "pretty radical", despite the fact that worker co-operatives have been around for years.

Nevertheless, regardless of who came up with it in the first place, it's good to see a major political party backing such an idea, and I think it could be really successful if it is handled properly and not just done as a cost-cutting exercise.

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And if they want an example of a successful co-operative in action, they should look no further than Crow Country, where they will find the co-op owned Thriplow village shop doing a roaring trade.

I'm told via the latest edition of Fowlmere and Thriplow News that the shop's flexible opening hours, wide range of high quality wares, and helpful, friendly, staff have made it a big hit with villagers. Long may it continue.

And so the number of homes planned for the Ivy Farm site in Royston drops again, with a new planning application set to be lodged which would see the development comprise 115 properties rather than 135.

I have mixed views about this. On the one hand it is good to see developers appearing to listen to the views of local residents, who have made their opposition to the scheme abundantly clear. But on the other you get the impression that the developers were initially just trying to maximise the number of properties they could squeeze onto the land, rather than building something which suits the needs of Royston.

The previous plan was obviously far too dense for a rural, edge of town, location such as Ivy Farm, and we can only hope that when this new application comes it is of a more appropriate nature.

So Royston Town's Wembley dream is over for another year, after they crashed out of the FA Vase at the hands of Wroxham.

Despite Saturday's disappointment, The Crows have provided us with many memorable moments during their record breaking cup run, and I'm sure they'll be back stronger than ever next year.

And as someone whose team has lost in Wembley finals in both of the last two seasons, I can assure Paul Attfield and Co that going to national stadium is over-rated anyway!

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