Briefing:
Notice of Annual Conference and AGM 2021

From:
Issy Oozerally
For attention of:
,
Published:
14th July 2021
Last updated:
7th October 2021
Printed:
25th October 2021
Other formats:
Print

For the attention of Party Officers (Secretary & Chair) and Secretaries of Subscribing Societies

Notice of Annual Conference & AGM 2021:

Preliminary Agenda

The Annual Conference and AGM are the Co-operative Party’s showcase of co-operative politics and the largest political online gathering of the year for the UK co‑operative movement. This year, once again, we will be holding them virtually via a specially-built bespoke conferencing website. Covid-19 has changed the way we all live and work, and the Party feels we can accurately reflect the look and feel of Conference using some of the conferencing technology we have all become used too during lockdown. We have a growing Party membership and this is our opportunity to share our ongoing work to a larger audience than we have been able to do before – from the comfort of your own home.

Annual Conference 2021

This will take place on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 October 2021. Key aspects of Conference will include:

  • Chair’s address from Jim McMahon MP
  • A series of leading Labour & Co‑operative keynote speakers and players from co‑operative and socialist movements
  • Interactive participatory policy workshops and debate on:
    • Reinvigorating our High Streets
    • Social Care
    • Other recent campaigns
  • Parliamentary reports from Westminster, Holyrood and Cardiff Bay

Following feedback from 2020’s event, we’ll be incorporating plenty of time for online networking with like-minded co-operators too.

Co-operative Party Ltd AGM & Conference Voting

The Annual General Meeting of Co-operative Party Ltd will once again be held virtually. It will take place online Saturday 16 October from 9.30 to 12.30pm. Party Councils and Subscribing Societies are invited to send delegates to attend and vote.  Submit your delegates here

Please note that this online event will also incorporate a session whereby the votes on policy, organisational motions, rules changes, membership subscriptions and the Conference Arrangements Committee (that are normally held during Conference) can take place. Ideally your delegates should make themselves available to take part in our online Conference policy debates the preceding weekend but also the AGM & Conference Voting on Saturday 16 October.

Do also advise appointment of the Lead Delegate to the AGM and Conference Voting, who will be responsible for casting Card Votes on behalf of your organisation. If you have any questions regarding this year’s session on Annual General Meeting and Conference Voting, please email events@party.coop

For consultation

Please refer to the documents linked below which have been accepted by CAC for inclusion on the Agenda for Annual Conference 2021.  These will be taken during the AGM & Conference Voting session on Saturday 16 October:

  • Organisational motions:

1: Representing the wider co-operative movement (submitted by CMS)

Conference welcomes the moves by the Co-operative Party to recruit co-operative enterprises from beyond the traditional retail consumer societies as organisational members in recent years, but notes the slow rate of recruitment so far.

Conference believes that having some representation from the wider co-operative sectors on the NEC would help to ensure that these voices are being heard with a view to accelerating the rate of recruitment and ensuring that the Party’s policies and activities are relevant to the whole of the Co-operative Movement in the UK.

Noting the precedent of an observer seat for individual members from Northern Ireland, Conference calls upon the NEC to add an additional observer to its number from Co-operative Enterprises in membership of the Party that are worker, housing, community co-operatives or Credit Unions.”

2: Widening the pool of election candidates (Submitted by Central Midlands Co-operative Party Council)

Conference welcomes the breadth and impact of the joint campaign with co-operative retail societies and the union USDAW on violence against shop workers and the positive working relationships between those organisations that it has encouraged and built upon.

Conference notes that many staff in co-op stores and funeral homes live locally, have deep knowledge and understanding of their neighbourhoods and the people who live there, and are often community activists outside of work themselves such as school governors, parents and volunteers.

Therefore, Conference calls upon the NEC and Party staff to instigate a campaign with USDAW and other relevant partners to encourage and mentor more co-operative employees to stand for election to public office.

This could include an awareness campaign about the opportunities that are available, access to training and mentoring activities and ensuring that co-operative employers make appropriate arrangements for flexibility in the workplace to enable colleagues to undertake duties such as those of a local councillor, magistrate or school governor.

Any responses to Rules Changes and amendments must be submitted by 1 September 2021.

CAC Election 

The Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) governs the procedure of the business of Conference.  The CAC is composed of five persons: two elected by ballot at each Annual Conference (one to serve for 3 years and one to serve for 1 year) and a fifth member from the NEC. These are currently Lis Telcs – chair, Peter Smith, Stephen Powers, Theresa Vaughan and Abigail Marshall-Katung (NEC representative). In 2019 Sabiha Shahzad was also appointed as BAME observer.

No election took place in 2020 due to the pandemic, so the candidates elected at Glasgow 2019 served an additional year.  Lis Telcs and Stephen Powers terms of office end in 2021 although both are eligible for re-election. This year’s ballot for the 2 places on the CAC will take place on Saturday 16 October.

Please contact Issy Oozeerally, Events Co-ordinator at events@party.coop if you require a CAC candidate nomination form. Nominations should be received no later than 29 August. No more than one representative can be elected from any one region, so members in the East Midlands or Yorkshire and Humber will not be eligible to stand this year.

Recognition Awards

Our Recognition Awards are a small way that we can say thank you to those members who have played a big part in helping developing the Co-operative Party. The Awards are open to all members, recognising those who have made a lifetime of contribution to the movement, as well as those who may have joined more recently but have made a big impact already. You can nominate any member, officer, councillor or elected representative. Nominations must be submitted by 1 September 2021.

Accessibility 

We will make provisions for members who have difficulty hearing to take part.

We are also considering ways to support members who do not have access to computers to participate.  Please contact us if you or any of the members of your branch/Party Council need support with this.

If you have any questions or need any clarification, do contact me.

Issy Oozeerally 
Events Co-ordinator

P.S. Although restrictions are set to ease this month, we are asking Officers to remain holding all meetings online until at least Autumn, after Conference. This will give us time to watch the lifting of restrictions and see what guidance will cover in person meetings when they are permitted. It also means that you can plan your events without having to make any last minute changes should restrictions be extended.

Action Points
  • Achievement award
    Propose a co-operator for a recognition of achievement award (More)
  • Advise your delegates to Conference
    Contact members of your organisation (Society, Party Council or branch) and ask who would be interested in being nominated as a delegate to Conference. Do note they would have to make themselves available to take part in online events on 9-10 October, plus the AGM and votes on Saturday 16 October. (More)
  • Arrange a meeting to discuss any rule changes
    Discuss whether your organisation (Society, Party Council or branch) wants to submit any changes to the proposed rules changes and organisational motions. See The Rulebook for procedural details. (More)
For more information

events@party.coop

Issy Oozeerally

Events Officer