12. Joint motion from Board and Council - Political Donations (Carried - 78.32%)

Motion To seek approval to incur political expenditure, including donations and / or subscriptions to Political Parties, not exceeding £750,000 in total, for the year commencing 1 January 2017.

Your Board response: Your Board recommends that you vote for this motion. Click here for further comments from your Board and Council.

Further comments from the Board and Council: Your Board follows best practice, and any decision about the principle of political donations is put to vote at the AGM. The Group is a founding-member and funder of the Co-operative Party (the Party), with member representation on the Party’s National Executive Committee. The Party was created in 1917 to defend and further the cause of co-operation in the UK, ensuring that co-operators are elected and the Co-operative Movement’s voice is heard in Parliament and at all levels of government. The Group is currently a subscribing member of the Party and has agreed funding of £625,600 for 2016 and 2017. If this Motion is not passed, the Board will give notice to the Party of its intention to withdraw as a subscribing member; however, the Group will honour an existing commitment to provide a minimum of 12 months’ notice to terminate membership and will provide funding until the end of 2017 to allow the Party a period of time to determine its future. If this Motion is accepted, the Group will continue to be a subscribing member of the Party, but could also allow for additional small donations to other political parties, campaigns and organisations which support Co-operative Values and Principles during 2017.

The Council’s support of this motion is underpinned by the Board response above.

Your Council response: Your Council recommends that you vote for this motion.

Further comments from the Board and Council: Your Board follows best practice, and any decision about the principle of political donations is put to vote at the AGM. The Group is a founding-member and funder of the Co-operative Party (the Party), with member representation on the Party’s National Executive Committee. The Party was created in 1917 to defend and further the cause of co-operation in the UK, ensuring that co-operators are elected and the Co-operative Movement’s voice is heard in Parliament and at all levels of government. The Group is currently a subscribing member of the Party and has agreed funding of £625,600 for 2016 and 2017. If this Motion is not passed, the Board will give notice to the Party of its intention to withdraw as a subscribing member; however, the Group will honour an existing commitment to provide a minimum of 12 months’ notice to terminate membership and will provide funding until the end of 2017 to allow the Party a period of time to determine its future. If this Motion is accepted, the Group will continue to be a subscribing member of the Party, but could also allow for additional small donations to other political parties, campaigns and organisations which support Co-operative Values and Principles during 2017.

The Council’s support of this motion is underpinned by the Board response above.