Co-op Census

Co-operatives UK (New)

Co-operatives UK are in the process of creating a National Co-operative Development Strategy. The intention, is to work with co-ops to create a simple strategy that can help us, as a sector, decide where we focus our energies over the coming years in order to support and grow the UK’s co-operatives. They have an expert panel, chaired by Pauline Green overseeing the strategy; we have a range of discussion paper feeding in ideas; the 180 people at Congress produced a whole series of suggestions.

The next stage is the launch of the first ever census of the UK’s co-operatives – not just Co-ops UK members, but as many of the 7,000 co-ops that make up our sector. It aims to give us new insight into how they are working, what the challenges are, where they want to be and how we need to get there. It’s a big piece of work and we are working closely with our federal members on it so we can maximise the number of housing co-ops, credit unions, allotments etc, responding.

Take the census: http://bit.ly/coopcensus

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Co-operative Group results published today

The Co-operative Group Annual Results 2015 are published today.

To view the RNS/Press Release click on the following link: http://www.co-operative.coop/corporate/press/press-releases/headline-news/results-2015/

To view the Annual Report & Accounts click on the following link: http://www.co-operative.coop/annual-results-2015

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Co-ops struggle for recognition in Australia

  • The Australian
  • April 1, 2016 12:00AM

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/legal-affairs/coops-struggle-for-recognition/news-story/ea01a5d5d3f4880a5c1b20891bbbe03f

Co-operative and mutual enterprises still remain influential in some sectors of the Australian economy, and yet the federal corporations law, and legal and accounting professions, often fail to recognise their existence.

The Corporations Act refers only to these businesses in the context of demutualisation, while professional bodies do not include the laws governing these businesses in their accreditation ­standards.

But a recent Senate economics committee report has put forward a sweeping law reform agenda so that these entities can operate alongside other corporations when it comes to the law and attracting investment.

The report tabled last month with the support of both major parties, and the minor parties, says the government should amend the Corporations Act so that mutual enterprises are explicitly recognised.

It recommended that the government amend the Corporations Act to allow these enterprises to access a broader range of capital raising opportunities.

Regarding the professions, the committee recommended that professional accreditation bodies, such as the Law Society and Institute of Chartered Accountants, require “a demonstrated knowledge of the co-operatives and mutual structure before it will ­license its members to practise accounting or law”.

While some CMEs like Murray Goulburn have tapped equity markets, such initiatives have proved to be onerous.

While many of Australia’s health, insurance, and banking co-operatives have demutualised in recent decades, these enterprises remain particularly strong in sectors such as grain marketing. The attempted takeover of West Australian grain handler CBH Group attests to this fact.

British consultant Peter Hunt, who advises co-operative groups globally on law reform, says Australia’s problems stem from having imported laws from Britain.

“We started the problem in the UK. We exported our legislation all over the world,” he said.

The biggest problem facing the sector globally was capital raising. This presented a “conundrum” for these enterprises because they need capital to grow, but they don’t want to risk takeover.

“These mutual businesses don’t have the capacity to issue instruments like shares that can be bought in the same way as companies do. The reason for that is you don’t want them to be demutualised,” he said.

But the idea of a “hybridity of ownership is catching on”.

In Australia, he said that as CMEs were state-registered, this created an “anomalous situation” where they had to become federally incorporated companies to raise capital.

Murray Goulburn did this via a “tortuous process”. It is a company with listed shares that also has a co-operative constitution.

In his advice to the newly formed peak body, the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals, Mr Hunt says Australia should amend the Corporations Act so that it defines the type of securities they can issue while restricting the ability of the new shareholders to subvert the purpose of the business.

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Robert Owen Museum is recruiting volunteers

Robert OwenThe Robert Owen Museum is a small, independent museum in Newtown, celebrating the life, ideas and legacy of Robert Owen. His ideas led to the formation of the Co-operative movement and he was an instigator of free education for workers’ children. He is an internationally known and respected thinker and reformer, so the museum, in his birthplace, is visited by people from across the world.

This is an exciting time for the Museum, as we are looking to deepen our co-operation with the Co-operative Heritage Trust, which could lead to major developments in both the role of the Museum and the building it is based in.

The Museum is supervised by a small Officers Group, and we would be interested to hear from you if you were interested in joining.

Ideally we would be looking for two people to join the existing group of five volunteers. Roles can be flexible and we meet every six weeks or so – all you need is an interest in Robert Owen and/or the Co-operative movement and the ability to get to Newtown !

If this sounds interesting, or if you want to find out more, please contact the Chairman of the Museum,
Sue Newham 01686 626228 or snewham@btinternet.com

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Events for your diary

The next meeting of the Cross Party Group on Co-operatives and Mutuals will be at the National Assembly:-
Tuesday 17th November 2015 @ 12.15
Media Briefing Room
Senedd Building (Waterfront entrance)
Cardiff CF99 1NA

Launch of Wales Co-operative Centre and Co-operatives UK research: A Collaborative Economy for the Common Good

Hear from the report’s author, Pat Conaty, Research Associate, Co-operatives UK

Drinks and light refreshments will be provided, sponsored by Wales Co-operative Centre

All those attending must pre-register by emailing:-
ceri.anne-fidler@walescooperative.org 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The life of William Hazell and his contribution to the Welsh Co‑operative movement and Mutualism
at
Pontypridd Muni, Gelliwastad Rd, Pontypridd CF37 2DP
Monday 16th November 2015 7.30 – 9.30pm

with
Alun Burge: Author of
William Hazell’s Gleaming Vision “A co operative life in South Wales”
and
a discussion panel on the theme of
“Co-operativism in Wales: Lessons for our Future”

Chaired by
Professor Andrew Davies, Chair of Welsh Government’s Co-operatives and Mutuals Commission

Light Refreshments

Sponsored by Co-operatives and Mutuals Wales

RSVP: Jayne.howard@assembly.wales
10 Market Street
Pontypridd
CF37 2ST
01443 406400

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New Secretariat at Welsh Assembly Cross Party Group

The Welsh Assembly Cross-Party Group on Co-operatives and Mutuals Secretariat for the Group has now changed. Ceri-Anne Fidler at the Wales Co-operative Centre is taking over from autumn 2015.

She can be reached on ceri.anne-fidler@walescooperative.org or Tel: 0300 111 5050

The Group is sponsored by Co-operatives UK and supported by the Wales Co-operative  Centre on their behalf.

The next meeting of the Cross Party Group on Co-operatives and Mutuals will be at the National Assembly:-

Tuesday 17th November 2015 @ 12.15
Media Briefing Room
Senedd Building (Waterfront entrance)
Cardiff CF99 1NA

Launch of Wales Co-operative Centre and Co-operatives UK research: A Collaborative Economy for the Common Good

In the context of uneven growth and imbalanced recovery from the downturn across the UK, the report explores a new economic strategy for Wales. It draws on best practice and lessons from international case studies and what is currently emerging in Wales to develop the Collaborative Economy Model – an economic and regeneration strategy developed specifically for Wales.

Hear from the report’s author, Pat Conaty, Research Associate, Co-operatives UK

Drinks and light refreshments will be provided, sponsored by Wales Co-operative Centre

All those attending must pre-register by emailing ceri.anne-fidler@walescooperative.org 

~~~~~

I hope you will be able to join us
Mick Antoniw AM Chair, Welsh Assembly Cross Party Group on Co-operatives & Mutuals

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Free .coop domain names

show_you_are_3ls

 

The International Co­-operative Alliance has developed a global co-­operative identity that ALL co­-operatives can align with and which differentiates us from other forms of business.

The .coop domain and Co-­operative Marque are symbols of the global co­-operative movement and our collective identity.  Together they help differentiate between a co-operative and investor or privately-owned business.  The domain .coop is reserved just for co-operatives and organisations that support co-operatives, and is FREE for the first year for new applicants.  The Co-operative Marque is the ethical badge that’s for co-ops for use alongside your own brand and it’s FREE to use.

Complete your co-operative identity today and join thousands of co-operatives in more than 100 countries who are proud of their co-operative identity by using a .coop domain and the Co-operative Marque.

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Next Cross Party Group Meeting

An invitation to the next meeting of the
Welsh Assembly Cross Party Group on Co-operatives and Mutuals

Thursday March 19th 2015, 12.15pm
Media Briefing Room
Senedd Building (Waterfront entrance)
Cardiff CF99 1NA

PLEASE NOTE THE REVISED AGENDA

Welcome and opening remarks

Mick Antoniw AM
Chair of the Cross Party Group on Co-operatives & Mutuals
~~~~~
How green energy co-operatives are developing across Wales

Jeremy Thorp
Sharenergy Co-operative

Neil Lewis
Robert Owen Community Banking’s Community Energy Fund

Followed by an open discussion & questions

Drinks and light refreshments will be provided, sponsored by Co‑operatives and Mutuals Wales

All those attending must pre-register by emailing jayne.howard2@wales.gov.uk

I hope you will be able to join us
Mick Antoniw AM
Chair, Welsh Assembly Cross Party Group on Co-operatives & Mutuals

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Cross Party Group

The Welsh Assembly’s Cross Party Group on Co-ops and Mutuals met on February 28th to discuss Community Supported Agriculture and Allotments.

They were addressed by Cardiff Councillor Gareth Holden, Nikki Giles from FlintShare CSA and Gerald Miles from Pembrokeshire CSA

Read the full report here

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Co-operative Press seek new Board Member

Co-op News

 

 

 

Board member recruitment

The Co-operative Press, which publishes Co-operative News, is seeking to recruit a board member. 

Co-operative News is the fortnightly magazine and website that publishes news, analysis and opinion from the UK and global sector. Its mission is to connect, champion and challenge co-operatives.

Four full-time staff are employed by the co-operative (editor, deputy editor, marketing executive and multi-lingual journalist) along with a part time journalist and some freelance journalists on an ad hoc basis.

There is a vacancy on the board for a co-option. As an innovative co-operative, the board is looking for a person who can help with the strategic direction, particularly with its focus on digital development.

Ideally, the board is looking for a candidate from Wales, since directors already represent England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The applicant must share the passionate belief in the continuation of an independent Co-operative Press.

The Co-operative Press also strives for equality throughout the co-operative. Its board consists of three women (inc. chair and vice-chair) and five men with an independent secretary. The board meets around 4 times a year in Manchester at Holyoake House, with one extra meeting being before the annual meeting, normally held at Co-operative Congress, wherever that may be. 

A commitment to co-operative values and principles is obviously essential too. Applications are open to all, whether you are an individual co-operator or affiliated to a small or large co-operative. Though, at this time, we cannot accept any elected members or staff from the Co-operative Group, since this organisation is already well represented.

A fee of £500 per annum (before tax) is paid to directors. Travelling expenses are paid and a buffet lunch is provided.

To apply, please email secretary Ray Henderson at ray@coopuk.com

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Co-operative Housing in Loftus Garden Village

Charter Housing, which is part of the Seren Group, is working with the Welsh Government and local people to develop an innovative housing co-operative as part of the eagerly anticipated Loftus Garden Village in Newport – www.loftusgardenvillage.co.uk.

Development of the co-operative is underway and by November 2015 the housing co-operative will be taking responsibility for 19 beautiful arts and craft style homes located in a single street on the garden village.

The Welsh Government has provided £650,000 towards the cost of building the homes and Charter Housing is assisting with the setting up of the co-operative.

The vision is to build a mix of 1, 2, 3 & 4 bedroom flats and houses which will be available for share ownership. The co-operative own a small percentage of the homes. People buy a share in their own home and pay a rent on the remainder not owned by them or the Co-operative. This modern approach to co-operative living gives people the option of having as much community and privacy as they want plus the great advantage of lower monthly housing costs when compared to other share-ownership models.

Charter Housing will support the setting up of the co-operative and assist members explore all sorts of innovative ways to create a safe and caring neighbourhood and to save more money on the cost of running their homes.

Anyone interested in knowing more or wanting to register an interest in joining the housing co-operative can make contact with Jill Stringfellow via email jill.stringfellow@charterhousing.co.uk or phone 01633 678 514.

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Social Co-ops Report from Co-ops UK launched

At a well attended meeting of the Welsh Assembly Cross Party Group on Co-operatives and Mutuals  yesterday (July 1st), the Co-operatives UK Research Report was launched by Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-ops UK, and the report’s author, Pat Conaty. The full report and summaries are available below:-

CUK – Social Co-operatives Report final
CUK – Social Co-operatives Report Summary English
CUK – Social Co-operatives Report Summary Welsh

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Co-op Housing in the Vale of Glamorgan

Wales Co-operative Centre are assisting a co-op housing group in the Vale of Glamorgan.

They are looking for creative co-operators who would be interested in purchasing 2 bed houses at c. £215,000 in Wenvoe, as part of a co-operative with Newydd Housing.

There will also be some market rent 2 bed houses at £500 pcm and some 2 bed flats at £420 pcm which are unallocated at present. Continue reading

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Next meeting of the Assembly Cross Party Group

An invitation to the next meeting of the
Welsh Assembly Cross Party Group on Co-operatives and Mutuals

Tuesday July 1st 2014, 6.00pm
Media Briefing Room
Senedd Building (Waterfront entrance)
Cardiff CF99 1NA

~~~~~

Launch of Co-operatives UK research report:-
Social Co-operatives: a Democratic Co-production Agenda for Care Services in the UK

Welcome and opening remarks
Mick Antoniw AM
Chair of the Cross Party Group on Co-operatives & Mutuals

Launch and overview of report
Ed Mayo
Secretary General, Co-operatives UK

Wales – an opportunity to take the lead
Pat Conaty
Research Associate, Co-operatives UK

Followed by an open discussion & questions

~~~~~

Drinks and light refreshments will be provided, sponsored by Co‑operatives and Mutuals Wales

All those attending must pre-register by emailing jayne.howard2@wales.gov.uk

~~~~~ Continue reading

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Co-ops UK Training

Co-operatives UK are running the following training courses:-

Bristol: Venue: Hamilton House, Bristol, is your nearest venue

The seminars will be run by worker co-operative members of Co-operatives UK; Dynamix, Rhizome, Seeds for Change and Co-operantics, all of whom have many years of experience of working with and training co-operative businesses.

Funding and initial support was provided by worker co-operatives Delta-T, Essential Trading, Suma Wholefoods and Unicorn.

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Co-operative Congress 2014

Congress 2014
A conversation and call to action
You can’t help but notice there has been dramatic change within the co-operative movement over the past year.And with big opportunities and challenges ahead, we must now come together to have real, open and honest conversations about the future.‘Co-operation: How?’ this year’s Co-operative Congress, sponsored by Unity Trust Bank, is a must attend event for anyone engaged with movement. Continue reading
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Welsh Co-operatives & Mutuals Commission

Are you interested in the future of co-operatives and mutuals in Wales, and the role they play in the Welsh economy and our communities?

Maybe you work for a co-operative or mutual, or provide support to such businesses in Wales. You might work for a public or voluntary sector organisation that has links to co-operatives.

Or perhaps you represent a funding organisation or could be someone who’s thinking of setting up a co-operative.

Within the next week, a series of consultation events will get underway that provide an opportunity for you to respond to the Welsh Co-operatives and Mutuals Commission’s report – a document that states that ‘co-operatives and mutuals offer significant economic, social and environmental benefits compared with ordinary businesses’ and that ‘their development must be central to transforming Wales’ economic fortunes’. Continue reading

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The Welsh Co-operatives and Mutuals Commission – have your say

The Welsh Co-operatives and Mutuals Commission has published its report, which makes recommendations on growing and developing the co-operative and mutual economy in Wales, in order to create jobs and wealth.

The ‘Co-operatives and Mutuals Commission Wales Report 2014’was launched at Accommodation Furniture Solutions Ltd (AFS Ltd), Swansea. AFS Ltd is a worker co-operative that was formed with support from the Wales Co-operative Centre following the closure of the Remploy factories in 2012. Continue reading

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Welsh Government Cross-Party Group on Co-operatives and Mutuals

An invitation to the next meeting of the Welsh Assembly Cross Party Group on Co-operatives and Mutuals

The Commision on Co-operatives & Mutuals
Wednesday March 12th 2014, 12.30 to 13.30
Media Briefing Room
Senedd Building (Waterfront entrance)
Cardiff CF99 1NA

Speakers:-
Prof. Andrew Davies, Chair of the Welsh Government Commission on Co-operatives and Mutuals
Derek Walker, Chief Executive, the Wales Co-operative Centre

A light buffet will be provided, sponsored by Co-operatives and Mutuals Wales

All those attending must pre-register by emailing jayne.howard2@wales.gov.uk

I hope you will be able to join us
Mik Antoniw AM
Chair, Cross Party Group on Co-operatives & Mutuals

Further details of the Report and how to obtain a copy are available here

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CAP Support for Agricultural Co-ops

Making the position of farmers stronger in the food chain is one focus of the 2013 CAP reform. This European Commission video clip features a project in Andalusia that has merged six regional co-operatives and more than 800 growers to ensure decent income for farmers in the market – and fair-priced, top quality fruit for the consumer.

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