In a series of videos, the Co-operative Group has interviewed internal and external experts on the organisation’s reform proposals. What do they think?
I think of this as a solid framework, and on that we want to grow a productive, flourishing co-op that’s not about rules, that’s about people. A co-op is about people … I think the next phase is really exciting and very important. The two things we need to do is build trust and be true to our values.
Ursula Lidbetter, Co-operative Group Chair
We really think that the new governance changes are going to make a very positive impact, not just in the way that we run the businesses, but also in the way that members can engage with us.
Richard Pennycook, Interim Group Chief Executive
I believe what we’ve got now merits a very good vote in favour and a fair wind from the members. But I also believe that it is critical that right from the beginning the members of the new council take control of the monitoring of the next three years before there will be a review – and that they don’t suspend their critical judgement.
Dame Pauline Green, ICA President
“It’s about accountability. If the board is accountable for overseeing the business, the board needs to decide who the team is and then be judged by whether or not they’ve picked the right team.”
Claire Davies, Group Secretary
“These proposals offer the possibility of a vibrant new organisation with proper engagement with the whole membership, not on the basis of a small number who attend meetings. It offers the possibility of innovative systems [and] the freedom and power to develop.”
Ian Snaith, co-operative legal adviser and solicitor
The new governance rules are compliant with the international co-operative values and principles … I think those voting on this set of rule changes can do so in confidence that it doesn’t call into question the fundamental underlying co-op identity of the Co-op Group.
Ed Mayo, Co-operatives UK Secretary General
This is a great opportunity to look at what we do and how we do it and to involve members in shaping and creating the training and support programmes that they will require.
Joan Keysell, Co-operative Group Membership Team
• This article has been amended to correct a quote wrongly attributed to Dame Pauline Green. In our original copy we quote Dame Pauline as saying “a fair win from the members” when in fact it should have said “a fair wind from the members”.