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Join with us in Reading

as we bring together members and supporters from across the South East to discuss the Co-operative Party’s policy platform for 2019 and new Food Justice campaign.

We will hear from a range of varied and interesting speakers as well as give you the opportunity to speak with some of our elected representatives, hear from local co-operatives and take part in networking opportunities with like-minded co-operators. The final programme is still being worked but an outline is below:

10.00am Registration commences

Welcome and keynote address: Co-ops Unleashed

Find out more about the recent National Economic Foundation report to double the size of the co-operative economy and how the Co-operative Party is working to achieve it.

  • With Karen Wilkie, Deputy General Secretary, Co-operative Party

Policy debate 1: Climate change, energy and the environment

Time is running out to prevent a climate catastrophe.  Global emissions show few signs of slowing down, hitting unprecedented levels in 2018.  The Co-operative Party seeks to build on its longstanding commitment to action on climate change and our belief that we can achieve more for our environment when working co-operatively than we can alone.

  • With Cllr Tom Hayes, Oxford City Council (Board Member for Safer, Greener, Environment)
  • Rachel Eden, Reading Community Energy Society
  • Alex Hartley, South East London Community Energy

Policy debate 2: Community, place and power

We are living through turbulent and polarised times.  The foundations of the UK’s economy have shifted – eroding job quality and security, and leaving former industrial towns and regions behind.  This policy consultation looks at bottom up initiatives to build stronger communities, and seeks to answer wider questions about how power is distributed around the UK, and how to rebalance this to give citizens and communities a greater say and stake

  • Matt Rodda MP, MP for Reading East
  • Cllr Rosa Bolger, West Oxfordshire District Council & Leader Witney Town Council
  • Cllr Laura Price, Oxfordshire County Council & West Oxfordshire Community Transport

Co-operative Party Campaigns: Food Justice

The Co-operative Party’s current campaign focuses on tackling food poverty locally, and creating a more strategic approach to the issue nationally.

  • With: Imogen Richmond-Bishop, Sustain (Right to Food project)
  • Sumi Rabindrakumar, Trussell Trust
  • Jane Middleton, Labour Hunger Campaign
  • Cllr Kemi Akinola, Wandsworth Council
  • Lis Telcs (West Sussex Pupil Premium Teacher – closing the gaps of underachievement)

Co-operative solutions to Local Government

Across the country, hundreds of Labour & Co-operative councillors are working to give local people a voice in  their communities, and a say in how services are run. Find out ideas of how you can work co-operatively in your local area to tackle the challenges we see in our communities. Through the work in Preston to introduce community wealth building, to over 80 councils who have signed the Co-operative Party’s Charter Against Modern Slavery, our ideas are providing practical solutions for local Councillors

  • With Karen Wilkie, Dept General Secretary
Co-operative Party Women’s network
  • The topic of discussion will be shared parental leave with Ria Bernard, Co-ordinator Co-operative Party Women’s Network and Lynda MacDermott, Chair SERP. This session will take place shortly after the main session closes and is open to all those self-defining as female.  

Registration is £10 (£5 concessions) which includes a sandwich lunch.

This event is open to non-members, so please share with friends, Labour Party and trade union colleagues.  You must register in advance to secure a place.

Travel:  The best way to travel to Reading is by train or bus.  The Friends Meeting House is a 15 minute walk from Reading mainline station or you can travel via bus route 5.  Nearby car parking is available at Saxon Court car park at £9 per day.  Click here for more information http://www.green-parking.co.uk/reading-saxon-court-car-park/. There are also ‘on-street’ parking spaces nearby for use of blue-badge holders.

To register


29th Jun
10:00 am - 4:30 pm


Friends Meeting House
2 Church Street
Reading, RG1 2SB United Kingdom

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