What is The Streatham Common Co-operative?
We are the Streatham Common Co-operative; a community run social enterprise managing all services from gardening to litter picking in the Streatham Rookery since 2015. Many of you know us as 'SCCoop'. Currently, we are the only community group with direct responsibility for managing a Lambeth Park. In 2016, we took over the Paddling Pool on Streatham Common saving it from closure, and in 2017 started regular conservation work in the Streatham Common Local Nature Reserve. In 2018 we started work to restore the cascade co-funded by money SCCoop has raised from the community, the HLF and Lambeth.
By removing layers of management and being directly accountable to the local community, SCCoop is more efficient and responsive to local needs than traditional ways of running parks. All profits are put back into services on the Common and Rookery. In 2016, parks budgets were slashed by 50%, so our fund-raising activities are even more vital to maintain and improve services.
We use the income and assets that come with managing a public park to provide services that go beyond just grounds maintenance to benefit the community at large including the disadvantaged, young and elderly. Our objective is to enhance this resource to benefit all segments of the Streatham community.
Our long-term vision is to have a dedicated manager for the Common and the Rookery with dedicated staff that are easily identifiable and always based on the Common. We want to do a better job, getting better value for money with more motivated staff than either a council led service or by outsourcing to private companies. We want to create partnerships with the community and local businesses which can be of mutual benefit.
We can do this by providing direct accountability to the community (we are owned by the community), attracting volunteers and alternative sources of funding, being entrepreneurial, taking away the big company profit motive and having the flexibility to avoid borough-wide contracts that often don't represent value for money locally.