Party Council meeting

The Kent Co-op Party marked the 100th Anniversay with a round up of the year and a report from the Cenenary Conference.

We also had a presentation from Co-operative Energy.¬†Pictured are Jeanette Timmins, the Secretary of the Kent Co-op Party, and Co-operative Energy’s Tim Cunliffe.


Conference Report

The Centenary Conference – report and views

The Co-operative Party’s Centenary Conference took place in London on 13-15 October, with the first part held in the Westminster Central Hall – the venue for the first conference in 1917.
Conference then shifted to the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel with the session opened by Gareth Thomas, Chair of the Co-op Party welcoming keynote speaker Jeremy Corbyn MP and Centenary addresses from Ben Reid of Midcounties Co-operative and the Community Union’s Jacqueline Thomas.
The theme to Conference was Ideas to Change Britain and there was a discussion session led by speakers from Indycube, the Fair Tax Mark, and Baroness Glenys Thornton from the Young Foundation.
There followed a Scottish Parliament report and the first of two Westminster Parliaments   reports. The first Policy Debate of the weekend was on Education with Tracey Brabin MP giving the keynote speech. The second Ideas to Change Britain saw speakers from Community Energy England, We Own It, a campaign for public ownership, and the Shadow Minister for Local Government Jim McMahon MP.
The second Westminster Parliamentary report focused on Brexit and featured Luke Pollard MP and Alex Mayer MEP.
The final session on the Sunday morning started with Campaigning with the co-operative movement, followed by the second Policy Debate, this one on Housing.
There followed a keynote speeches by Kate Osamor MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for International Development and the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones AM.
The conference ended with a Policy process feedback and a Youth report.

I felt that the Policy Debates were a good step with more work to be done, and the Ideas for Britain sessions were useful and the panel members informative and inspiring.
There were many fringe meetings organised for delegates on Education, Brexit, Localism, Energy etc.
I attended the Framing the Progressive Narrative fringe, hosted by Muteo and Chaired by Seema Malhotra MP on Saturday lunchtime.
On the Saturday afternoon I was at the Brexit – good or bad for the Co-operative and Mutual Financial Services which had Alex Mayer MEP, Barry Sheerman MP and Credit Union Director Sally Chicken as speakers.
I have been a delegate to Annual Conference on several occasions and this was by far the most professionally staged one. There were many highlights, it was good to see Jeremy Corbyn address conference, the first Leader of the Labour Party to do so since James Callaghan in the 1970s. The Co-op Party is moving forward, the movement is adjusting and changing – the Co-op College is working with others to establish a Co-operative University.
The Co-op Party’s attempt to mark and celebrate our Centenary was very successful, here’s to the next 100 years.

Sid Pollitt, Conference delegate from the Kent Co-op Party.

Centenary event – Dartford

An event to mark the Co-op Party’s centenary took place in Dartford this week.

The Dartford & District Centenary Gala Dinner at the Dartford Golf Club saw well over 50 members, guests and friends of the Co-operative Party come together. The Party’s General Secretary Claire McCarthy and Kent’s David Wise, a past National Secretary, gave speeches on the past , present and future of our party.

Ideas for change

The Co-op Party’s centenary conference debated new ideas to change Britain. Policy sessions were held on Housing and Education.

The conference had contributions from Lab/ Co-op MPs, AMs and MSPs. The keynote speaker was the Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn MP.

Jeremy Corbyn and Gareth Thomas MP.

March on Parliament

Tracing the footsteps of the first Co-op Party members conference delegates to the Centenary conference marched on Parliament from Central Hall behind the Party’s new banner.

Centenary Conference

The Co-op Party held it’s Centenary conference in London on the weekend of 13-15 October 2017.

The opening session was held at the Central Hall in Westminster, the same venue that hosted the Party’s first conference in 1917.

A packed meeting agreed the annual report. In the awards section Cllr Laura Price won the Tim Pearce award and Kent members David and Doreen Wise were recognised for their service to the Party.

Eve of Conference

It’s been a busy year with the County Council elections and then the snap General.

We have been gearing up for events to celebrate the Party’s 100th anniversary and going about our usual business, meetings and socials.

Here are members wracking their brains during a recent Quiz Night in Dover.

The Party’s Centenary Conference begins tomorrow, Friday 13 October.

Kent Miners Festival 2017

There was fine weather and a great turnout at the Kent Miners Festival, this year held near to the village of Betteshanger.

The Kent Co-op Party has supported the end in previous years holding an information stall. Pictured on this year’s stall is Eileen Rowbotham and Jeanette Timmins.