I am delighted that the Co-op Group Board is recommending that the Co-operative Party subscription is approved at this year’s AGM on 21 May, and recommending that Co-op Group members vote to support it.
To me, as a Member Nominated Director on the Board, this is a very welcome decision and one which I have consistently promoted. If supported by members at the AGM, it will reaffirm and renew our historic, democratic partnership with the Co-operative Party.
I have been a Co-op Party member for more than 25 years and I know how important the Party’s work is.
The Co-op is more than just a business and our partnership with the Party is one of the ways we show it.
Because we believe in changing society, it is right that the Co-op supports engagement in the democratic and political process, at the same time as we set an example as Britain’s leading ethical business.
The Party’s policy work and engagement with national and local government has been vital in creating a better environment for all co-operatives and growing the co-operative movement. I believe the Co-op Group, as Britain’s biggest co-op, is absolutely right to support this work, not just in our own business interests, but in the interests of all Co-ops.
The Board’s decision is being communicated to Co-op Group members, asking them to support Motion 12 under the heading ‘Approving our political spending on things like subscriptions and donations to parties.’ Online and postal voting starts on Thursday 21st April for members who are not attending the AGM in Manchester in person.
The Members Council is also supporting the recommendation, and, like the Council and the Board, I hope members will use their votes to support this important element of our co-operative democracy.