Party lines up big 90th birthday

THE Co-operative Party is going back to its roots by holding its 90th anniversary conference at Westminster’s Central Hall, scene of its founding conference in 1917. This year...

THE Co-operative Party is going back to its roots by holding its 90th anniversary conference at Westminster’s Central Hall, scene of its founding conference in 1917.

This year the Party wants to include as many people as possible and the conference is open to members and non-member alike. 

Party spokeswoman Hilda Carr said: “The conference will be inclusive of as many members and organisations as possible, including those who campaign for the same ideals as ourselves and those who work alongside the Labour Party.”

Ms Carr added that the Party hoped to attract anyone who believes politics is for people and that making our society fair and sustainable is about the choices and decisions we make and that the first step to change is to get involved.

To mark the 90th anniversary, officials hope to turn the three-day event into an “open day into the Party” and are encouraging as many members as possible to attend to discover how the Party works; what has been achieved and how the Party make politics work for people.

The conference starts on September 13th and will feature some excellent exhibitions and high profile speakers. There will also be a chance to see a screening of the film We Are Together, which tells the inspirational story of a 12-year-old orphan and her friends in South Africa. 

Exhibitors include The Co-operative, Divine Chocolate, the Co-operative College and Co-operative Press.

Speakers include Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State, DEFRA; Tony Juniper, Director at Friends of the Earth; and Stephen Twigg, Director at the Foreign Policy Centre, who will all be talking corporate responsibility and the role of businesses in tackling climate change. 

Andy Burnham, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and Labour/Co-op MP Phil Hope, Minister for the Third Sector, will be discussing the commissioning of public services from the Third Sector, while ministers Hazel Blears and Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, will also be in attendance. 

Another big name speaker is Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for International Development, who will deliver his keynote speech on the 13th.

The Party is using the conference to boost membership and is encouraging friends and family of members to visit Central Hall to gain a better understanding of what the Party is all about.

Access to the event is free to visitors for the entire three days, but anyone who is interested in attending must register in advance by email at [email protected] or by calling 020 7367 4153. Information about the conference is also available at: www.party.coop/90

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