Co-op chair Ursula Lidbetter has urged anyone unready to back Lord Myners’ reforms to speak to her as Midcounties vows to back plan.
Lidbetter said she was prepared to speak personally to anyone unsure about the reform proposals and said she would be “very concerned” if Myners’ plan - which some see as necessary for the survival of the scandal-hit mutual - was voted down.
The group will take a vote at its annual general meeting on Saturday on whether it should reform. Members will be asked to back four principles: the creation of a board of directors elected by members, a structure that gives members powers to oversee the board, a “one member, one vote” system, and provisions to protect against demutualisation.
Lidbetter, who took up the chairman role late last year after Len Wardle stood down following the scandal that engulfed the Co-op, said that Myners’ proposals were not “stapled” to the back of the resolution and said consultation on reform measures would begin after the vote on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the largest independent Co-op society, the Midcounties, is backing the resolution despite being vocal about its concerns, The Guardian reported.
The 21 independent societies and seven regional boards that own 22% of the group are currently holding meetings in advance of Saturday’s vote.
Regional boards, which represent the group’s 8 million members, own the remaining 78% of the group.