An empty shop in south London is helping Lambeth council workers change the way they do their jobs. Clare Goff visits the ‘co-operative council’ and finds a changed conversation taking place ‘Sitting in the town hall, the idea of the co-operative council was theoretical. Being here in the shop I’ve found an appetite for doing things differently’, says Rohini Anand-Pal, policy, equalities and performance officer at Lambeth Council, who now spends three days of her working week sitting in an empty shop on the high street in West Norwood, a residential area in the south of the borough. Her colleagues Rachel Clark and Dorian Gray concur. ‘It’s been eye-opening. I’ve learned so much from being able to chat to residents’, says Rachel. Since February, the colleagues have left their office in the town hall to spend three days a week chatting to local residents who come through the door, and … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

Clare Goff
Clare Goff is editor of New Start magazine