Petition Closed

Reject the proposed changes to the governance of The Co-op Group until they are fully consistent with co-op values & principles and open to future change on a one member one vote basis

This petition had 777 supporters

This petition was delivered on 30 August 2014.

We the undersigned members and supporters of the Co-operative Group and the co-operative movement urge the rejection of the current proposed changes to the governance of The Co-operative Group until

  • they can be demonstrated to be fully consistent with the Co-operative Values & Principles as laid down by the International Co-operative Alliance; and

  • they are open to future change by members exercising one member one vote without requiring the agreement of the Board and/or Council.

Furthermore, we note that the Autonomy and Independence of The Co-operative Group is currently under challenge from the demands of its banking syndicate.

However the proposal that the Board should be composed in its majority of ‘independent’ directors is directly opposed to the co-operative principle of democratic member control.

Equally, the proposal that such directors should simply be subject to ratification by members rather than standing in an open election, is not consistent with genuine co-operative democracy.

The operation of a Nominations Committee should ensure that a Board made up of a majority of candidates drawn from and nominated by members would be suitably competent and qualified.

We are alarmed that proposed Rule 118.6 prevents members from making any further changes to governance of their co-operative, without the agreement of the Board, tying the hands of members for generations.

SIGNED by hundreds of people from every UK region and nation, and across the co-operative movement. Including: Ken Loach, award winning film director; John McDonnell MP; Iain Macdonald, former Director General of the International Co-operative Alliance; Bob Cannell, SUMA; Jo Bird, Martin Meteyard, Co-operative Business Consultants; Jean Louis Bancel, Credit Cooperatif, France; Sean Farmelo and Mike Shaw, Students for Co-operation; David Thompson, Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation, USA; Roger Sawtell, founder of Daily Bread Co-op; several individual members of Regional Boards including Terrence Morton, Jean Martin, Steve Thompson, David Haigh, Linda Ward; Andy Walsh, FC United of Manchester; David Drew, Labour/Co-op candidate for Stroud; Bill Shannon, former Group Corporate Affairs; dozens more Area Committee members, people working in co-operatives, co-operative development advisers and co-operative customers.

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