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NACO Statement Regarding Co-op Group Governance Proposals

Prior to the Co-operative Group Annual General Meeting earlier this year, NACO confirmed support for the Board in the commitment to a reform process that supported significant change.

NACO recognised and supported the need for change and believed this could be achieved through dialogue and discussion between those who cared deeply about the future of the Group. Since that time there has been significant dialogue and the result of those consultative forums has led to a series of proposed Rule changes to provide for a robust governance structure.

It is not the role of NACO to debate the proposed Rule changes in great detail as that is the role of the democratically elected members of the Regional Boards. What NACO can support is the need to provide a stable governance structure that ensures that the values and principles of the co-operative movement are adhered to and that the co-operative difference remains integral to all that we do.

This applies not only to the future democratic structures that govern the business, but also in relation to business strategy and the manner in which senior management run the business. NACO supports the need for change, recovery and future stability to ensure that the Group has a bright co-operative future.

We have noted that Co-operatives UK has confirmed that their review of the new rules concludes that these comply with international co-operative values and principles and in their position as the apex body for co-operatives in the UK we are content with their assessment.

NACO is pleased to note that the proposals include a formal role for the Independent Societies with guaranteed seats on the Council. NACO believes that is wholly correct that their role is embodied in the proposals to ensure that a strong federal structure continues in the future.

NACO welcomes the proposal to include guaranteed seats for Employee Members on the Council as their input should strengthen the values and principles of the governance structure.

NACO also welcomes the principle of ‘One Member One Vote’ on major decisions to be made by the Group as this truly underpins the principles of a co-operative and reaffirms the importance of direct member participation in the Society’s affairs.

In conclusion we recognise that these proposals set the strong foundations to provide for a continuing development of a robust governance structure that ensures the Society continues to operate in the interests of the members.


Neil Buist                  

General Secretary                                  

Friday 29th August 2014