Electoral Commission Returns – Co-operative Party

Background

This page covers compliance with Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA):

  • Quarterly reporting of donations and loans
  • Reporting individual donations over £500
  • Submitting annual accounts to the Electoral Commission if your Party’s income & expenditure exceeds £25,000
  • Keeping details of the Treasurer and Secretary up-to-date

The Co-operative Party is a registered Political Party and must comply with the provisions of the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA).  These duties are overseen by the Electoral Commission, which regulates all aspects of the Party’s finances from the Party Council up to the National Party.

The Electoral Commission recognises Party Councils as ‘accounting units’.  You can find detailed guidance for officers of accounting units here.

The Treasurer shares the legal responsibility for the Party Council’s finances with the Party Council Secretary, who is also the deputy treasurer/second officer notified to the Electoral Commission.

Reporting donations and loans

All donations and loans of more than £500 must be reported to Head Office within two weeks of the end of each quarter i.e. by the 14th of January, April, July and October.  We need to know:

  • The amount of each donation
  • The name and the address of the donor. If this is your supporting Society we will know the address
  • Date received
  • Date accepted (usually the same as the date received)

If you receive an ‘in-kind’ donation, this must be reported too.  Examples of ‘in-kind’ donations could include being given administrative support by your Society or use of meeting rooms free or cheap.  Contact Karen if you are not sure what should be included.

Branches are part of Party Councils so you must also include in your report any donations or loans of more than £500 made to a branch.

If you receive a grant from the Co-operative Group or East of England Society paid via Head Office you do not need to report it.

Additionally, if you receive a donation over £500 other than from your supporting Society, you must report this to Karen Wilkie as soon as it is offered or received.  This is to enable the Party to carry out checks to ensure the individual or organisation can donate to a political party in the United Kingdom.

Actions

  • Submit quarterly returns within two weeks of the end of the quarter
  • Let us know straight away if you receive any donations other than from your Society
  • Let us know straight away if your Treasurer or Secretary change.
  • If your annual income or expenditure exceeds £25,000, submit your annual accounts directly to the Electoral Commission.

 Additional links:

Electoral Commission Guidance