Sam Toland is a member of the Co-ordinating Body (our board of directors) and serves as our current Co-op Secretary.

I am happy to share what is shaping up to be a bi-monthly Co-op Governance Update. Today, I’ll be updating you on members’ meetings, the work of the Co-ordinating Body and the progress of our committees.

The structure of these posts is still quite loose, but I look forward to developing this update into a resource that is of real use to members. I welcome any and all constructive feedback on the type of content included and how it is presented.

Members’ Meeting

I shared an update on the Talkin’ Co-op held on the 4th March 2019. If you want to catch up on that meeting, you can read the notes here.

I am looking forward to our next Special General Meeting which will be held on the 10th April 2019 at 6.30pm in the Lime Tree Café. All members are encouraged to attend and I personally look forward to engaging in our first expression of member democracy since our decision to purchase Kilmainham.

The amendments being proposed at the SGM are quite technical and some members have been in touch to ask if I would prepare a brief explainer of the proposals that are being made on the night. I have obliged and you can find this document below.

Some members have also requested a copy of our constitution which can be found below.

Preparations are underway for our Annual General Meeting 2019 which will be held in the second week of June (date to be announced). Our financial statements for 2018 are currently being audited, and we are hoping to have the Annual Report to members in May.

Members’ Affairs Committee

The Co-ordinating Body agreed at their March 2019 meeting that we should draft a terms of reference for a Members’ Affairs Committee.

I have prepared a draft terms of reference for this committee along with a committee handbook, which will be reviewed at the April CB meeting. I will then circulate these documents to members for review and feedback.

Co-ordinating Body Decisions

The issue of the publication of CB minutes was discussed in the last governance update and it was discussed at the March 2019 CB meeting.

The CB deliberated on the issues at play including the arguments for and against publishing their minutes in future. There was also a discussion about how the CB might otherwise share their decisions and deliberations with members.

It was agreed the CB needed to communicate its decisions clearly to members, and that transparency is important for maintaining the confidence that members place in their CB.

There was also a consensus that if the CB decided to proceed with an option other than to begin publishing their minutes immediately, this would necessitated bringing a motion back to a members’ meeting.

After a robust discussion, the CB decided by consensus that:-

the policy of the CB is that the members’ resolution passed at the AGM 2010 is inconsistent with the best interests of the society for reasons of commercial sensitivity and board confidentiality but that a motion will be brought to our next AGM recommending an alternative mechanism to ensure that decision-making within the society is open and transparent.

CB Meeting held on the 11th March 2019

It was proposed that we would conduct a survey of members to ascertain what members priorities are when it comes to being informed about the Co-ordinating Body’s deliberations and decisions.

It is my intention to bring this matter to the Nomination & Governance Committee for consideration, and I hope to have a proposal for members in advance of the AGM 2019.

Nomination and Governance Committee

The first meeting of the Nomination & Governance Committee will be held later in April, and we wanted to offer interested members another opportunity to propose themselves for the committee.

Any member with previous experience working on governance within our own Co-op, another Co-op / non-profit / business or experience recruiting candidates for board elections would be ideal candidates to fill these posts.

The agenda for our first meeting will including conducting a skills gap analysis on our board and committees, reviewing our board and committee nominations process, CB communications to members and conducting a review of the number of CB positions suitable for our co-operative.

If any of this sounds like something you could bring added value to, please consider sending a short personal statement, including any prior experience, to

Thanks for reading this far and hope to see you at a members’ meeting soon.

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