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Being a Co-op Member gives you a say in how our Co-op is run. It’s because we’re different, it’s because we’re a democracy. One of the ways you can do this is by voting at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) and in our elections for Member Nominated Directors and Council Members.
This year our AGM is being held on Saturday 19 May at Manchester Central, starting at 10:30am.
Eligible members can attend and vote on motions, or alternatively vote in advance by post or online. Find out more on member eligibility.
1.5 million members have recently joined our Co-op, so for some, our AGM and our democracy may be new. Here’s a brief introduction to what our AGM and elections is all about.
What is an AGM?
Our AGM is our Annual General Meeting and it’s our members’ opportunity to hear our Chair, CEO and Council President review the year. Members attending can ask their questions and have their say by voting on the motions at the meeting. This year we’re also holding two workshops before the meeting. Members will be able to find out more about how our business performed in 2017 and meet our Members’ Council. Anyone can watch the AGM live online too.
What is a motion?
A motion is a proposal that is voted on by members at our AGM. Motions can be put forward by our business, our Members’ Council or by individual members and some motions are required by our Rules.
This year there are 12 motions on areas such as plastic recycling and responsible advertising. You can view all this year’s motions on the AGM website.
What is an Executive and Independent Non-Executive Director?
An Executive Director is a Co-op colleague who is part of the Executive Management team (our senior management). They’re responsible for managing the day-to-day business of our Co-op.
Independent Non-Executive Directors are members of the Board, but not the Executive Management team. They aren’t Co-op colleagues, but they bring their experience and knowledge to the Board and Executive and are key to ensuring our Co-op is well run. See this year’s Executive and Independent Non-Executive Directors who are up for re-election on the AGM website.
What is a Member Nominated Director?
These are directors who are chosen directly by Co-op Members and ensure our members’ voice is heard at the highest levels within our Co-op. Just like Executive Directors and Independent Non-Executive Directors, they bring a strong commercial background and proven skills and capabilities to the Board. See this year’s candidates for Member Nominated Director on the AGM website.
What is the Members’ Council?
Your Members’ Council is made up of 100 member representatives from all walks of life. They include ordinary members, colleague members and members from other co-operative societies.
Representing 13 areas across the UK they ensure millions of members’ voices are heard at the highest level and act as the guardian of our Co-op’s purpose, values and principles by working closely with the Board. See this year’s Members’ Council candidates on the AGM website.
What difference does the AGM make?
Each year members vote on key proposals (motions). Last year, because of our member support for motions we:
•extended our unique and pioneering Fairtrade policy to include Co-op branded products which use tea, coffee and bananas as ingredients
• helped 14 survivors of modern slavery gain employment at our Co-op through our unique Bright Future programme
• continued our work to ensure 100% of the plastic we use is 100% recyclable, with a target of 80% by 2020, increasing the percentage of all our Co-op food products with “easy to recycle” packaging from 45% to 71%
Do I have to attend the AGM to vote?
No. You can vote easily online, it only takes 5 minutes.
To do this you’ll need your voting codes to hand. Head to our voting website and choose the option to appoint a Voting Representative. You can choose the Chair as your Voting Representative, or another member that you know will be attending on the day. Alternatively, you can join us on the day to vote on the motions at the meeting.
Voting on the elections for our Member Nominated Directors and Council Members takes place prior to the AGM. You cannot vote in these elections at the meeting itself.
Can I watch the AGM online?
Yes. You can watch our AGM online live on YouTube. We will also be tweeting live updates @coopuk so get involved with the conversation using #CoopAGM
Read more about our democracy;