Hard work will be what it takes for us to move our Party forward in the way we want. The good news is our Party is becoming a fantastic team prepared to go above and beyond.

Our Party’s AGM on Saturday was an opportunity for us to look back at the previous year and ahead to the work we have ahead of us.

We have fantastic support from our co-operative members, our individual members, supporters, officers and elected representatives.

Through 2021; we have greatly improved our campaigning. This can be seen in our ability not just to rally thousands to action but from our wins. Whether that be in retail violence, LV=, bees protection or food justice.

We also increased our footprint in Local Government and political representation more generally.  This can be seen from our over 1200 Cllrs, half of all Welsh MSs, half of all Scottish MSPs, most Metro Mayors and good amount besides.

We worked to grow our audiences, supporters and members. This can be seen from our year-on-year membership growth taking it to an historic high and our supporter list growth.

As we look towards the future, we have a clear strategy in place which will allow us to best fulfil our Party’s central objective to protect and promote the co-operative movement in all its forms. We are clear we need to ensure we get the all the value possible from our new elected representatives. We need to provide the quality input, issues and training to ensure that our work in recruitment has been worthwhile.

Our Party’s and the movement we serve must remain relevant and flexible enough to respond to any challenge – right now we must develop the co-operative contribution to battling the cost-of-living crisis. Our work must focus on the things people feel and see everyday.

With the Westminster cycle coming swinging towards the critical parts, we need to increase our influence in terms of selections, policy and organisational support.  Of course, our new plan continues to put ambitious growth at its heart, and we have challenging growth targets in place for both members and supporters. Targets our Party will need to work together to achieve.

For members in the Party our plan looks to ensure that we continue to grow our member and supporter journeys, routes to activism and ways to get involved with our work. We need to continue to develop and advertise our routes through from supporter to member, member to activist, activist to officer, member to elected representative.

Through the life of this plan, we are determined to continue to evolve to ensure we are a party truly representative of the communities we look to serve. We must also build on the successes we have had in recent years with our member led equalities networks.

Of the upmost critical importance will be working hard to ensure the value of its Party – it is why we were established, and we won’t be losing sight of that.

In order to achieve these things and much more besides we must work together as a team.

I’m looking forward to it.