Meeting of the members of Reddish Labour Party, held on Friday 24 June at Stockport Labour Club
Our most recent branch meeting was a very interesting one. Along with hearing from North and South Reddish Councillors, we were delighted to be joined by Phil Arnold who spoke with passion about his vision for radical local economic and social change through education in the establishment of Co-operative Academies in Reddish.
Phil works at Reddish Vale Technology College [RVTC] as their Director of College Improvement whose foundation is The Reddish Vale Co-operative Trust. It was the first of its kind in the UK and has led to the development of a new co-operative educational sector in the UK. The Trust is a member-led, co-operative charitable organisation and was established in 2008. Its aims are to “build bridges between education and training, employment and local regeneration”.
The Co-operative Trust does a lot of wonderful work in the local community and internationally and it was also Trust members who provided design work for recent community event ReddFest and support for the Great British Bike Ride in aid of St Elizabeth’s Church.
Phil challenged the Labour Group to actively support the development of this approach and give practical support to the delivery of its aims.
There followed a lively debate on the future of RVTC, the consultation for a change to a co-operative academy and the development of a Co-operative Free School. The model details are available from the RVTC website.
Councillor Paul Moss commented that he’d welcome closer ties between both RVTC and the trust with the likes of Reddish Business Forum and Reddish Buildings Preservation Trust in the future.
In other business, Andy Verdeille, Labour Group Leader for Stockport and South Reddish Councillor, gave his report including details of a forthcoming motion in the council on the future of Stockport County Football Club.
We were also joined by Denton & Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, who gave us his view of recent events and debates in Parliament.
Details of our July branch meeting will be sent out to our members soon.
FURTHER READING: Andrew Gwynne MP writes about Co-operative Schooling in ProgressOnline