511 words, approx 3 mins to read.
Co-ops are special organisations, democratically controlled by their member-owners and not vast institutional shareholders. Co-ops are accountable to their members and give them a chance to have their say in how they do business.
May 18 is a special day in our Co-op’s calendar. It’s our AGM, which will be held at Manchester Central this year. Before the big day, more than two million of our members have the opportunity to participate in decision-making that will guide the future of the Co-op that they own. As ever, I’m really looking forward to it.
At the front of my mind, as President, are the National Members’ Council elections. We have fantastic candidates standing for election around the UK. Council act as a voice and platform for members and independent co-ops to be heard in our business. Please make sure you vote in this year’s elections and choose who you think would be the most passionate about representing you and making a difference.
You can also vote in our Member Nominated Director (MND) elections. MNDs make sure our members’ voice is heard at the highest level. Just like our Executive and Independent Non-Executive Directors, they sit on the Board, but the difference is they’re chosen directly by our members.
Ahead of our AGM, we’re asking members to support motions; these are key decisions that will affect the way we do business. This year, motions include: appointing auditors, receiving our Annual Report and Accounts, approving pay and remuneration for executives and directors, electing our Independent Non-Executive Directors, and approving our political spend as a founding member of the Co-operative Party.
Council is also championing its own motions on sustainable sourcing and Fairtrade. These are important issues and show that Co-op is determined to be ethical, sustainable and minimise the impact we have on the environment; as a democracy, we really do care about the world we share.
With the Board, we are also recommending a motion to support our Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities campaign to champion crime and colleague safety. This is a huge issue for Council and Co-op. We’re proud of the tens of thousands of our colleagues in our stores, funeral homes, offices and distribution centres. The number of our colleagues who experience incidents of abuse and violence is a scandal and Co-op has been working in partnership with MPs and other retailers to get the government to act and make crucial changes to the law so we can keep our communities and workplaces safe.
I hope I’ve highlighted how important it is to use your vote as a Co-op Member, you can have your say if you’ve spent £250 at Co-op in the last year and received an invitation in the post or email from us. Make sure you register to come along to our AGM to enjoy Co-op’s festival of democracy – not least because you’ll get to hear my speech!
To find out more about the 2019 AGM and elections, visit: www.co-operative.coop/agm
President of the National Members’ Council