By Zoe Selby, Colleague Council Member and Store Manager
Our Members’ Council is a voice for Co-op Members at the heart of our business. It gets involved in all parts of Co-op life and has a responsibility to: work with our Board and senior managers to represent members’ interests in their decision-making; make sure that we’re staying true to our values and principles; be a strong advocate for co-operation in the outside world.
As a Colleague Council Member, I’ve really enjoyed getting actively involved in our Co-op to make changes that matter to our colleagues, communities and members. I’ve met so many new people that are now part of my network and also great friends. My highlights so far would be giving frontline insight that’s helped to shape our Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities work, hosting one of our Join in Live events in Cardiff, and learning about all the amazing things Co-op Foundation is doing for young people.
Our Council is looking for more members across the UK to get involved and be a voice for their communities right now. As a colleague, you have the unique opportunity to stand for election and represent the interests of Co-op Members within our businesses, as well as members local to you. Nominations have to be in by midday on Friday 21 February. Co-op Members will then vote for their candidate(s) of choice as part of our 2020 AGM and elections’ journey and the results will be announced in May.
This year, we’re particularly welcoming applications from people under 30 and BAME groups. To stand for election, you must have been a member for three years prior to applying and spent £500 across Co-op businesses in 2019. If you don’t meet this eligibility criteria, we also have co-option seats available to help us represent our diverse communities.
For 2020, we’re seeking applications from colleagues in these constituencies:
- Yorkshire and the Humber
- East of England
- North West
- North East
- Northern Ireland
- South East
- South West
As an elected representative, you’ll get the chance to ask questions and input into decisions at the highest-level of our business to make sure we’re keeping our members’ interests at the heart of everything we do. By finding out what’s important to them, you’ll be helping us to shape the work we do as a Co-op.
Our focus for 2020
As well as helping Co-op to achieve its vision and strategy, Co-op Members have told us they want us to focus on tackling climate change, so we’ll be championing this issue with our leaders; getting members more involved locally with our Join in Live Local events; exploring new ways to hear members’ views and sharing them with the business.
If you’d like to get involved, please visit our election website for more information and to apply.