Members at the Co-operative Group’s annual meeting in Manchester have voted to approve political expenditure for the year commencing 1 January 2017, with the motion being carried by 78.32%.
The joint motion submitted by the board and the council sought approval to cap political subscriptions at £750,000, down a quarter from last year’s £1m cap. The Group has already agreed a subscription to the Co-operative Party of £625,600 for both 2016 and 2017, but the motion leaves open the option for subscribing to parties other than the Co-operative Party.
If the motion had not passed, the Group would have given notice to the party of its intention to withdraw as a subscribing member. Both the board and the council recommended voting for the motion.
The Group has maintained its financial subscription to the Co-operative Party, in line with members’ vote at the 2015 AGM. At last year’s meeting members voted for a motion to approve political expenditures, not to exceed £1m per annum, that support the objectives of the Co-operative Movement. The expenditure included a membership subscription to the Co-operative Party.
Commenting on the vote, Claire McCarthy, general secretary of the Co-operative Party, said: “The Co-operative Party is pleased to continue our historic partnership with the Co-operative Group, and by the confidence placed in us by the tens of thousands of the Group’s members who voted to maintain the link with the Party.
“From co-operative housing to community energy, co-operators are pioneering solutions to many of the challenges Britain faces. We look forward to continuing to work with the Group to ensure a strong voice for our movement in the rooms where decisions are made, and as advocates for co-operative values our economy and society more widely.”