Occupation: Underwriter/Trade Union Convenor
Co-operative Businesses traded with in last 12 months Food, Insurance and Bank
Skills and experience
An active Co-operator all my life, Bristol members elected me to Area Committees for 19 years and South West V&P Committee for nine years. I opposed pay offs to elected members and policies which almost led to the extinction of our movement. Now the business has regrouped we must embed co-operative values into the structure. If elected I will campaign for meaningful membership with more democracy, member events and offers and opportunities for member participation.
I am a committed Co-operator and have held positions in the Co-operative Movement continuously since being elected to the Bristol Co-operative Party Council at the age of 19. This includes 19 years on the Kennet and Avon Area Committee and its predecessors (including 2 years as Chair of the Bristol Area), 9 years on the South West Values and Principles Committee, 23 years on the Bristol Co-operative Party Council, two years as a Member Pioneer, four years as a Labour Co-operative Councillor and speaking up for members at national meetings including AGMs, Congress, Party Conference, Education Convention and CRS General Council.
I started as a member of the Bristol Co-operative Working Party for Small Shops, I consider myself extremely lucky to have worked with dedicated Co-operators in Bristol and around the region on that issue and also campaigning to abolish the age rule, for the CRS/CWS merger, against large pay offs and against the abolition of democratic structures. I wish to carry on the commitment of those members and continuing speaking up for our Values and Principles.
In my day job I am a Trade Union representative for hundreds of members which also gives me good experience both of representing members and of making representations to and establishing good working relationships with boards and management.
With that in mind I stand for election with the following principles: That there should be an elected local democratic structure That the majority of the board should be elected That there should be at least yearly local Members Meetings The Co-op should be a campaigning organisation on social issues That we should look to expand the business into further areas where there is member need – we are in food because in 1844 member need was unadulterated food, where is the member need today?
We are part of a movement and I support working with sister organisations like the Co-operative Party, Co-operatives UK and Woodcraft Folk.
Elected Members should be held accountable by the members who elected them, I will advertise my contact details to members and if a structure is not put in place will organise local meetings just as I organised 13 meetings of the Horfield Co-operative Local Forum before it was sadly discontinued.
There should be supported member groups, if our members would like to take part in the community and in activities as long as it is in line with our Values and Principles we should support them.
We should be a voluntary movement I will oppose any pay rise to elected members and would donate mine to good causes. If a local structure emerges where locally active members do not receive fees then Council Members should not receive fees either. I am a passionate Co-operator and would like to continue the radical Co-operative tradition of South West Co-operators speaking up for members and our Values and Principles. Our great movement must be improved and passed on to future generations. I ask for your support in this vital undertaking.