The Co-operative Group has called on its members to play a direct role in the future of the organisation by standing in the first ever elections for the newly formed Group Board and Council.
The elections will allow members of the Co-operative Group members to help shape the future of the 150 year old organisation and the lives of its eight million members and the communities in which they live.
Nominations have opened for both the 100 strong national Members’ Council and the Group Board following the approval of far-reaching governance reforms in August last year. The new Council will be responsible for ensuring The Co-operative’s values and principles are upheld and will scrutinise the Board’s decisions. In addition to the Council elections, nominations are also being sought to fill the three seats allocated to members on the Group’s new Board - Member Nominated Directors (MNDs).
The Council and new Group Board are integral parts of The Co-operative Group’s new democratic structure, which provides members with a direct vote and the opportunity to stand for election to the new national bodies.
The constitutional reforms have been designed to strengthen the experience and professionalism of the Group’s governance and ensure better accountability to the Society’s millions of members.
Group Chair, Ursula Lidbetter, said: “This is a historic moment for The Co-operative Group and the wider Co-operative movement. The Group is beginning a three-year rebuild and we are putting in place a Board with the right skills and experience to govern that change. As Group Board directors, our three MNDs will, collectively with other Board members, be responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Group and safeguarding the interests of all our members.”
Another aspect of the governance reforms is also now underway and enables members to propose motions to be considered at the Group’s next AGM. Members have until 13 March 2015 to put forward motions that could come before the AGM for a vote by the membership of the Group.