Hazel Blears (Elected)
Member Nominated Director of The Co-op Group
Food, Insurance, Bank
Members matter in our Co-op. As your Director I have pursued issues members care about at Board meetings.
- Using our buying power to support other co-ops and local communities
- Involving more young members in our democracy
- Ensuring fair pay for colleagues
I loved representing my community as an MP. As a lifelong Co-op member I want to continue working for you as we rebuild our Co-op faithful to the Values and Principles of our founders.
My responsibility as your Member Nominated Director is to make sure Members’ views are heard and acted upon as we rebuild our Co-op, faithful to the values and principles of our founders. Working for you over the last year has been a privilege.
We have refurbished 264 stores and opened 97 new ones. We have raised pay for front line colleagues by more than 10% over two years and our funerals business is serving families with respect and dignity at an affordable price.
It’s Members who make the Co-op better than other business models. Our democratic structure gives you, as owners, a direct say in how we go forward.
As your voice on the Board I have taken up your top priorities:
Ensuring fair pay for our Colleagues Pay cuts at the top show a good lead but I want us to go further. We need to offer the best package of pay and rewards in retail to all our colleagues.
Using our buying power to support local businesses and Co-ops I’ve pushed hard to make sure every pound the Co-op spends brings social and economic benefits in local areas, supports jobs and apprenticeships, and buys from local businesses and other Co-ops.
Involving more young Members in our democracy I am campaigning to open up our democracy to more young members by reducing the £1,000 spend needed to stand for office.
Supporting Fairtrade Our pioneering support for Fairtrade improves the lives of some of the world’s poorest people. We must make sure our full Fairtrade range is available in every store.
To be your voice on the Board I need to know what’s happening on the ground. That’s why I visit stores regularly, and have met dedicated colleagues in distribution, funerals, insurance, electrical and legal services at Member meetings across the country. I work with your elected Council and have attended every Members’ Council meeting to which MNDs were invited.
The Members’ Council has voted to say they would like me to continue to represent Members on the Board. Some of the Members and colleagues I’ve got to know have been kind enough to say the same:
Martin Rogers, Colleague Member of Council: " Hazel is making a real difference on the Board – she’s got great ideas about how we can use our purchasing power to help create jobs in our local communities.”
Nicolette Ester, Young Members Board: “Hazel has championed young Members and wants us to be a strong voice in the Co-op’s future.”
Mark Crumlin, Store Manager Liverpool: “When Hazel came to our store she really engaged with our colleagues and customers and understood what it’s like to be at the frontline.”
I am asking for your support so that my experience and my commitment as a lifelong Co-op member can be put to a purpose we all share: helping to rebuild our Co-op so that we can be proud not just of our history, but of our future too.