ATTENDANCES at United Co-operatives interim meetings have shot up again, making the fifth year in a row that the society has recorded an increase at the half-year stage.
As usual 20 meetings were held across the society's trading area, with a total of 1,597 members present.
This was 16 per cent up on a year ago and 96 per cent up on the same meetings three years ago, immediately after the merger between United Norwest and Yorkshire societies.
In total, almost 1,600 attended the meetings, up from around 800 in 2002.
Venues with significant increases included Bradford, Skipton, Stoke on Trent, Stockport, Warrington, Preston and Ashton under Lyne.
The highest attendance was at Stoke on Trent where over 260 members turned out. Elsewhere Warrington saw 177 members attend, the Bradford meeting welcomed 146 members and both Skipton and Stockport recorded attendances of over 100.
United Secretary Philip Jones said: "We have been making major efforts in recent years to encourage members to take part in the democratic process. That policy is clearly paying off as evidenced by these figures and by the range of questions and the quality of the debate at meetings."
At the meetings members received reports on a half year (to 23 July 2005) in which sales exceeded £ 1 billion for the first time and underlying profit rose by 13.5 per cent to £ 26.1 million.