AN MP, a peer and a committed Co-op activist are in line to be Congress President for 2006.
The three candidates for the Movement's highest honour are Labour/Co-op MP Meg Munn; former junior International Development Minister Lord George Foulkes and Sylvia Jones, ex-Chair of the former CRS.
Co-operatives UK has announced the election is to be held under the auspices of the Electoral Reform Society, with ballot papers to be returned by February 20 and the result being declared four days later.
Ms Munn, MP for Sheffield Heeley and currently Deputy Minister for Women and Equality, formerly chaired both the women's committee of the Parliamentary Labour Party and the Co-operative group of MPs until her promotion following the general election last May.
A trained social worker, she worked in Berkshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire and, before being elected as an MP in 2001, was Assistant Director for Children's Services for the City of York Council. She is member of the Methodist Church.
Lord Foulkes, a board member of the former St Cuthbert's Society in Edinburgh from 1975 until 1979, became Labour/Co-op MP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley in 1979. Prior to his election he was a councillor in both Edinburgh and Lothian, where he was Director of Age Concern, Scotland.
During his time as an MP he was Opposition spokesman on Foreign Affairs and was Minister of State for Scotland from 2001-2002 as well as being Clare Short's colleague at International Development from 1997 to 2001. He became a life peer last year.
Sylvia Jones from South Wales is making her fifth attempt to become Congress President and says that, if elected, she will seek to address the issue of co-operative democracy in the wake of society mergers which have created massive societies where members have struggled to control the direction of co-ops.
She was the first woman chair of the Wales TUC and, in 2004, became the first elected Labour/Co-op councillor in the Rhondda Valley. She is also a volunteer director of Rhondda Cynon Taff Crossroads, which supports carers.
Meg Munn has been nominated by Sheffield Co-op; Lord Foulkes by Scotmid Society and Sylvia Jones by the Co-operative Group.
Member organisations of Co-operatives UK are reminded that all their votes must be cast for one candidate only.
In this article
- Assistant Director
- Chair of the former CRS
- Co-operative Party
- Co-operatives UK
- Deputy Minister
- George Foulkes
- George Foulkes, Baron Foulkes of Cumnock
- Labour Party
- Meg Munn
- Sheffield Co-operative Society
- Social Issues
- social worker
- Sylvia Jones
- The Co-operative brand
- The Co-operative Group