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New in 2014 Chapter_1 of Handbook of Co-operative and Community Benefit Society Law

Co-op and Community benefit Society Law Late 2014

This is a Summary of  co-op and bencom society law as it stands late in 2014 with references to support its statements. It is a downloadable PDF and may serve as an introduction to the subject, highlighting the key features of the CCBS  after the 2014 legislation.

FSA 2006 Policy Statement on non-User Investor Members in GB Co-ops

2012 Cobbetts’ Opinion on FCA Role on Registering Co-ops and Bencoms

UKCC Legal Working Group 1995 Proposal for a Co-operatives Act for the UK

Part I: UKCC Co-op Law Proposal pp1-25 &

Part II: UKCC Co-op Law Proposal pp26-53

(thanks to Tara Mulqueen for scanning it)

After the Thatcher Government abolished the UK’s national Co-operative Development Agency in 1990, some of the money from it was used to finance the UK Co-operative Council. That was an apex co-operative body including the Co-operative Union (consumer co-ops), ICOM (worker co-ops) and the main agricultural co-op and housing co-op bodies. Co-operatives UK is now the equivalent body and, before developing as such, contracted to administer UKCC’s affairs.

I was the co-ordinator of the UKCC Legal Working Group. The members were Charlie Cattell for ICOM (now part of Co-operatives UK), Roger Jones (then CWS Secretary) for the consumer movement and Michael Finch from NFU representing agricultural co-ops.

The Proposal represented the fruit of many years’ work by that group in attempting to develop a modern Co-operative Law for the UK that would accommodate and meet the needs of all the sectors. By 1997 it was turned into a voluminous Parliamentary Bill which was presented to the incoming Blair Government early in May 1997.

From then on, despite the sterling efforts of Lord Dennis Carter and Ted Graham (Lord Graham of Edmonton), and the work of Sir Graham Melmoth   (“the man who saved the co-op”) and the late John Tilley as CWS Parliamentary Officer, lack of Parliamentary time prevented the development of a Government Bill. However, some but not all of its proposals became law through a series of private members’ bills and pieces of secondary legislation between 2002 and 2011. The 2014 reform and consolidation of the law in this area included further changes such as the application of corporate rescue procedures to societies and the application of BIS powers of inspection and investigation to societies.

Report of the Co-operative Commission or “Monks Commission” 2000

For a good account of the Commission see the wikipedia article. Unfortunately the Commission’s own website has been hacked and needs rescuing and that makes some of the links in the references to the wikipedia article useless.

For that reason, here is the 2001 final Commission Report: “The Co-operative Advantage: creating a successful family of co-operative businesses”. Some comments on it can also be found on the Co-operatives UK website here.

Other Digital Papers and Resources:

This page also makes available (for free) digital versions of old articles, reports etc that I have authored plus some other free internet resources.

It will build up gradually over time as I manage to put documents up.

Co-operative Principles and UK Co-operative Law Reform

This 1996 article on the evolution of Co-op Principles and their relationship to UK Co-op Law may still be of some interest. It is from (1996) 29 Journal of Co-operative Studies at pages 48 to 64.

Globalisation, New Technology & Co-ops in 21st Century

In 2000, I published this short piece on “Virtual Co-operation” – Co-ops and the Internet – as a contribution to a Festschrift for my old friend, colleague and role model, Europe’s Prof. Co-op Law, Prof Hans Munkner, formerly of Philipps-Universität Marburg in Germany. That issue has been the subject of later work by Robin Murray, among others. Robin’s excellent Report “Co-operation in the Age of Google” review for Co-operatives UK is well worth a read. It was “consulted on” but I’m not sure what happened to it after that.

Origins of “Bona fide Co-op” and “Bencom” Concepts

This 2001 Article entitled “What is an Industrial and Provident Society?” appeared in (2001) 34 Journal of Co-operative Studies at pp 37-42. It deals with how and why the criteria requiring a society registering as an IPS to be either a bona fide co-op or a bencom was introduced in 1939 and the relationship between co-ops and bencoms. Can they be combined?. It was scanned in so the quality of the PDF is not great but it may be useful to some…..

Principles of European Co-operative Law (PECOL)

This project was launched in 2011 by the Study Group on European Co-operative Law (SGECOL) of which I am a full member.

For Fuller information and to download materials visit the PECOL page of this website

Good Free Material From Cultivate.Coop

It is an online hub for pooling knowledge and resources on cooperatives. It is a space to collect free information for those interested in cooperatives and where people can build useful educational tools for the co-op community

Free Ebook from Luther Blisset to Download

You can download Q by Luther Blisset by clicking on the title earlier in this sentence. It’s a rattling good yarn starting with the German Peasants’ War of the early 16th Century Reformation in Germany and moving forward to look at Jan of Leyden and other radical movements. It was published in 1999 by four members of the Luther Blisset Project , a pleasingly witty group of left wing pranksters.

Their later manifestation is as The Wu Ming Foundation.

Enjoy this tale of the wonderful Anabaptist “Gert from the Well” and his nemesis “Q” because:

“The partial or total reproduction of this book, in electronic form or otherwise, is consented to for non-commercial purposes, provided that the original copyright notice and this notice are included and the publisher and source are clearly acknowledged.”

as these good people are spreading the word….You can get any of their other work here but it would be good to leave them a donation.

Their more recent book of Magister Thomas Muntzner’s writings was published more conventionally with this essay explaining the link between Muntzner, the Q novel, their group and more recent radical struggles against neo-liberal globalisation.

Their latest in English Altai did not disappoint.

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