Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Mutual Football

Readers will be familiar with our previous posts about the world game and mutual endevours. The season has seen success for fan owned football clubs.

a) FC United of Manchester win their 3rd successive promotion and it's up to the Unibond Premier (3 divisions below the Football League).
b) AFC Wimbledon eventually get to the Blue Square South (Conference South) - they might be on Setanta Sports next season.
c) Stockport County win their play-off and climb to League 1 (Division 3 in old money).
d) Exeter City, another fan owned club, return to the Football League from a spell in the Conference
e) Ebbsfleet United, owned by mutual Myfootball Club (Registered No. 30275R) are going to Wembley won the FA Trophy final and £25,000 in prize money. Myfootball Club now have over 29,000 members, their target is about 53,000. You can still join or buy membership as a gift - it costs £35. They voted to leave the team selection for the final to the manager.

f) Next season sees the start of AFC Liverpool, a fans owned club in the North West Counties League Division 2. They'll be playing Cheadle Town, Blackpool Mechanics, and the local derby will be against Bootle. They have some summer friendlies coming up. Check out their brilliant Soviet retro crest.

New Mutualism Spring Edition

The Co-operative Party journal, New Mutualism Spring/Summer 2008 edition, has just been issued. The Party doesn't issue that many publications in a year so it's always a refreshing read.

Titled 'Consumerswith attitutude, can we design the society in which we live?'. Articles by Ed Balls MP, Andy Burnham MP, and expert on the railways Lord Berkeley. News on the co-operative school in Reddish Vale, Stockport and a review of NHS Foundation Trusts and co-operative housing.

There is also mention of the Annual Conference of the Co-op Party which is back at Central Hall, Westminster again on 11th, 12th & 13th September.

PDF Version available here

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Recycled Bio-Fuel Co-op

There used to be a small co-op in Manchester that sold bio-diesel from throwaway cooking oil. Unfortunately it closed back in 2006, but economics change, and if the barrels of oil continue to march to $150 and maybe a change in the duties levied this form of business will be available in every conurbation. It's ideal for a co-operative solution.

Already off the mark is one in Bolton. Their website stresses no fresh oil and no palm oil is used which allays fears of the growing of crops to fill petrol tanks instead of feeding people.

Story in Bolton Evening News
Bolton Alternative Fuels Cooperative

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Co-op Group to stay in city centre

After all the talk and press about the Co-op Group was planning to move out of Manchester city centre it has been announced it's staying but probably on a new site.
Co-op to stay in city centre - Manchester Evening News 20/05/2008

Monday, 19 May 2008

Changes Afoot

Went to the Manchester Area Co-op Party meeting last Friday. Everybody discussing the recent elections. Not as bad locally as the results the national picture. However disquieting points about breaches in election expenses by opponents - more to follow.

What is coming up is changes in the funding of the Co-operative Party. Only a small percentage comes from membership subscriptions the real money comes from the co-operative societies and the big player is the Co-operative Group. You can read the amounts, if you can be bothered, in the annual returns submitted to the Electoral Commission.

This is my take on the proposal that regional Co-op Parties come up with a 'business plan'. If they want money they should apply and if they are sitting on big reserves in the bank then spend it on political activity before asking. The bottom line is the Co-op Party is spending the money of co-op members and they should get some good value for that.

Hands Off Our Co-ops

The European Commission is currently examining so-called claims of unfair state aid to co-operatives. If they come to the wrong conclusion its decision could hurt some
250,000 co-operatives across Europe - including those in the UK. And it could be the thin end of the wedge with future legislative attacks from the private
sector on co-operatives to be expected.

for more information and to sign the online petition

Friday, 2 May 2008

Local Elections Record

It was never going to be good night nationally. Locally Sheila Newman fought off a strong Lib-Dem challenge to retain the seat with a 259 majority. This was against an unbelievable amount of Lib-Dem leaflets. I received two on polling day itself, and five in the last week, despite having two Labour posters on display. You can't out leaflet the Lib-Dems, well not unless election expenses are scrutinised. Spotted the ineffective John Leech MP on numerous occasions directions operations on the street. Must have been another quiet week in Parliament then.

Cllr. Andrew Fender (Lab/Co-op - Old Moat ward) - LABOUR HOLD
John Hacking (Lab/ Co-op - Chorlton Park ward) - LIB/DEM HOLD
Jennie Lennox (Labour - Didsbury West ward) - LIB/DEM HOLD
Tom Murphy (Lab/Co-op - Burnage ward) - LIB/DEM HOLD
Cllr. Sheila Newman (Labour - Chorlton ward) - LABOUR HOLD