Election for the Board of Directors 2018

Southern Co-op’s Board of Directors is currently made up of nine directors elected from the membership and one director who was co-opted by the Board and approved by the members at our AGM last year in accordance with Southern Co-op’s Rules.

The Leadership Team of The Southern Co-operative, including the Chief Executive, are not on the Board of Directors.  The Leadership Team are responsible for the operational running of Southern Co-op.  The Board of Directors is independent of the Leadership Team, responsible for the strategic direction of the Society and for overseeing the work the Leadership Team do on a day to day basis.

All elected directors are non-executives and serve terms of three years.  At the end of their three year term they have to stand down but may seek re-election.  Equally any member who satisfies minimum qualification criteria may be nominated as a candidate.

You can nominate yourself by completing the online form which will be available online from 21 February until 14 March which is the period during which nominations may be made or you can contact us for a copy during the nominations period. All nominations must be received by noon on 14 March.

The Board of Directors is responsible for promoting the success of Southern Co-op whilst representing the collective interest of the members as a whole across the geographical areas in which we trade.  Subject to certain qualification criteria being met, directors bring a range of experience and skills but are each committed to upholding the values and principles of co-operatives whilst fulfilling their legal duties and responsibilities in overseeing the work of the executive Leadership Team.

They meet on a monthly basis at our head office in Portsmouth.  Most directors also attend additional sub-committee meetings held in between these meetings.  Whilst we would not recommend a director attend all meetings by video conference, we have developed such capability to assist directors who do not reside within a short distance of Portsmouth.  There are also regular training sessions and other opportunities for self development.

Subject to satisfaction of the specific qualification criteria, this year, we are particularly looking for candidates who have specific knowledge and understanding of financial accounting, risk management and internal control, the property industry and property portfolio management and/or knowledge of funeral services, as these skills would enhance our Board further.  That said, we would be interested to hear from any member with alternative skills and financial and business acumen who has an interest in standing for election to the Board.

The Board determines the vision and strategies of Southern Co-op and ensures that policies and organisational structures are in place to deliver the long term objectives. The Board also ensures that Southern Co-op’s actions comply with its constitutional rules, relevant laws and regulations. Members of the Leadership Team make regular presentations to the Board at key stages throughout the year in order that progress against strategic plans can be monitored.

More details about the type of people we need and the specific qualification criteria which you must meet are set out in our Board Composition Charter.

Not only are directors legally required to demonstrate such care and skill as a person with their background and experience but they are also expected to show the levels of care and skill as someone in the position of director of a retail business with over £400m turnover reasonably would be expected to show.  To this end, directors are required to demonstrate a level of skill on election and to participate in training and development programmes in order to update their knowledge and capabilities and assist them in achieving these standards.  On appointment, directors receive an induction designed to develop their knowledge and understanding of Southern Co-op and their role as a director.  You should consider whether you personally believe you can fulfil these requirements.  All directors are required to sign acceptance of, and comply with, a Code of Conduct for Directors which sets out the minimum standard of professional behaviour expected of directors of Southern Co-op.

If you have any questions, please contact us. The application form for nominations will be available online from 21 February until 14 March at 23.59 when the nominations period closes.