THE Chief Executive of Musselburgh & Fisherrow Co-op and the society's three remaining directors have all survived a members' no confidence vote thanks to a controversial proxy voting system introduced last summer.
A special general meeting called by a group of members concerned by last year's privatisation moves was chaired by former society President George Cunningham after current President Jean Whitehead declined to take the chair.
But that proved to be the campaigners' only success of the night as up to 260 proxy votes were used in each vote to block the no confidence motions – despite the fact that the overwhelming number of members who turned up on the night voted to censure CEO Tom Lees, Mrs Whitehead and fellow directors Barbara Archibald and Pat Jamieson.
The no confidence motion in Mr Lees was proposed by former Chief Officer Peter Henderson, who retired 20 years ago after 17 years in charge of the East Lothian-based society.
Mr Henderson quoted from the report of the Financial Services Authority inspectors published in February. But when the result of the vote was announced, the no-confidence motion was lost by 169 votes to 264, with 256 proxy votes being cast in defence of Mr Lees and only 67 favouring the campaigners' move.
The other no confidence votes all went the same way with only eight and, in one case, nine of the members present backing the directors.
A motion calling on the society to pay the costs of staging the motion was also defeated and, this time, the number of members present who were against the proposal fell to seven.
*Further details in the next Co-op News published on May 2nd.
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