What does LCNC refer to?
LCNC stands for London Community Neighbourhood Co-operative.
What is LCNC?
LCNC is a self build urban co-operative creating a sustainable and self managed neighbourhood.
How did LCNC come about?
Two members of LCNC founded The Otherwise Club, an educational charity, over twenty three years ago. When looking for a permanent home for this charity became more pressing, discussions broadened to include other social issues which club members faced. Following a recognition of the unsustainablity of current high impact urban lifestyles, increasing climate challenges, financial insecurity, and a focus on individualism that isolates people, we developed plans for simple, adaptable solutions for sustainable urban living. It became apparent that this vision entailed an imaginative, comprehensive and ambitious plan for a community centre and housing.
Our vision of democratic self reliance, alongside a commitment to social, economic and environmental sustainability entailed an imaginative, comprehensive and ambitious plan for a community centre and housing. Visualising with a mentor from the Co-operatives Enterprise Hub, a cluster of six inter-related projects were identified, resulting in LCNC.
What is the legal structure of LCNC?
LCNC is a Multistakeholder Co-operative (MSH). Our MSH rules allow users, non-user investors as well as tenants to have a say when a vote is taken. MSH rules also require an annual social audit as well as a financial one. Putting a social audit in our primary rules embeds this aspect of the project at its heart, reflecting the nature of the project.
What is the ratio of voting rights in LCNC?
Non-user investors have 10% of any vote. Although a small percentage, in practice this gives the non-user investors a say in how the co-op is run.
Users of the various projects who become members of LCNC have 30% of any vote.
Those in the housing component of LCNC, London Community Housing Co-operative (LCHC), have 60% of any vote. This reflects the fact that they pay a regular financial contribution to the cost of the project in the form of rent and they have the most to lose: their homes.
Some terms explained
Sustainability: means reducing impact on the environment, but it is also wider than that. It means focusing on the relationships between people and reducing isolation and economic insecurity.
Community led: refers to the fact that we are a group of dedicated volunteers. We are not professional developers, but have come together as a community of interest.
Democratic: LCNC is a Multistakeholder Co-operative which is a relatively new structure, considered to be more democratic than some other forms of co-operatives because it gives both users and tenants the right to vote. A co-operative also promotes structures that are not hierarchical.
Consensus is an ethos through which we carry out all LCNC work and decisions, helping to make decision processes more democratic, and encouraging more open dialogue. Instead of simple majority voting with the potential 'tyranny of the majority', a consensus group is committed to finding solutions that everyone actively supports - or at least can live with. This makes sure that all opinions, ideas and concerns are taken into account. By listening closely to each other, the group aims to come up with proposals that work for everyone.