It was a great turn out for the Saturday morning following 'black Friday'.
Especially given that our experimental cluster meeting had been advertised with barely two weeks' notice, just by word of mouth, the local member group email list, a few notices stuck up in stores, and on this website. The Co-operative Group membership team were supportive (thanks). But they could not mail or email local members because it would have taken too long to get clearance.
The meeting brought together customer and employee members for a friendly, informal discussion about how to make the stores work best for local members and the local community.
This is the core of the Cluster idea: bringing all members together at a level where they can hope to make a real difference.
Our discussions in small groups (see photo) came up with plenty of ideas for activities and changes - and we'll be posting a summary here.
The cluster meeting then agreed on next steps:
We'll follow up on our ideas, aiming to make them a reality. Some we can work on straight away, others will take time or persuasion. We'll promote them in the local member group and in the Manchester Area Committee while it still exists. And we will hold another cluster meeting soon (7 February 2015, 10.30) - with time to inform local members, hopefully with the support of the membership team in Angel Square.
We'll promote the Cluster notion as a way forward for the Co-op. Will argue the importance of the key elements:
- Local, bringing together people who know each other and the stores;
- Organised by the members, around the stores that make sense to them, in ways that work for them;
- No one template, different places will do them differently;
- Customers and staff working together;
- Making a difference locally by acting locally, not just passing ideas up to the Council.
We'd like to hear from members, colleagues and elected members elsewhere on what they think.
Click here to read the page where the meeting was advertised on this site, with more about the background