THE creation of a new East of England Co-operative Society moved a step closer following a resounding vote by members of Ipswich & Norwich Society in favour of the proposed merger with Colchester & East Essex Co-op.
At special meetings in Norwich, Sudbury and Ipswich, members voted by an overwhelming majority of more than 97% to change the name of the society and to amend the rules to accommodate a merger of the two neighbouring co-ops.
The resolutions are conditional upon members of Colchester & East Essex Society approving the merger at special general meetings of their society to be held during October. If approved, the merger will take effect on 30th October.
Richard Samson, Chief Executive of Ipswich & Norwich Society, told www.thenews.coop : "I am delighted that our members have given the merger such clear support. Both societies operate highly successful co-operative businesses and the planned merger will enable us to work together for the benefit of our members, our employees and the communities where we trade."
If the merger becomes a reality, the new society will be the fifth biggest in the UK with over 5,000 employees; more than 200 trading outlets and an annual turnover exceeding £ 400 million.