Over the next few weeks, those of us who regularly shop or bank with the Co-operative Group (‘the Co-op’) will have the chance to vote continuing the partnership with Co-operative Party.
When a group of tradesmen banded together 150 years ago to create the World’s first co-op, they didn’t stop at ethical business. Their ambition was even greater: to transform society itself.
Co-operation is, and has always been, political. Via the shopping basket or the ballot, the savings account or on the street, co-operators have always shaped and challenged the world in which we live. But there’s so much still to do.
If you shop or bank with the Co-op, you are likely to receive a voting pack in the next few days- will you vote to keep the partnership going?
What’s going on? Why am I being asked to vote?
100 years ago this year, the individual co-operative societies that make up the UK co-op movement came together to establish the Co-operative Party as their political voice. Since then, these co-operatives have regularly consulted their members and voted on whether to continue their subscription to the Party.
Today, the largest of these co-operative societies is the Co-operative Group (‘the Co-op’), which runs food stores across the country, funeral care, insurance, and holds a stake in the Co-operative Bank. For the past 2 years, the Co-op has held a direct ballot of its members on whether to maintain the subscription, and on both occasions, members have approved it overwhelmingly.
The vote is taking place once again this year, and we are therefore asking for your support.
Who is eligible to vote?
Being a member of the Co-operative Party (with a purple membership card) does not automatically make you eligible in this vote – though many Party members will be eligible, and will receive a voting pack by post or email.
You are likely to be able to vote if:
- You shop regularly at a Co-operative Group store (with a blue membership card) and have spent over £250 using your membership card in the past calendar year (1st Jan-2016-2017).
- You have a Co-operative Bank account or insurance.
- You hold a Co-operative pre-paid funeral plan.
You may not be able to vote if:
- You have spent less than £250 at the Co-op in the past calendar year, or have not used your blue membership card.
- You are a member of an independent Co-operative society (such as Scotmid or Central England)
How do I vote?
Eligible voters will receive a voting pack by post or email between the 21-26 of April.
- If the Co-op has a valid email address on record for you, you will receive a link to vote securely online from co-op@ElectoralReform.co.uk
- For everyone else, watch out for an AGM pack that will arrive at your address between 21-26 April.
- You can also indicate in your voting pack that you intend to attend and vote in person at the AGM itself in Manchester on the 20th of May.
Email and postal voting are likely to close on or shortly before Monday 15th May, so do ensure you use your vote.