Colchester: MP Sir Bob Russell hails success of East of England Co-operative Society
06:00 04 July 2014
The East of England Co-operative Society and Colchester Credit Union have been praised in the House of Commons by Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell.
Speaking during a debate dealing with amendments and regulations to the Co-operative & Community Benefit Societies and Credit Unions Act 2010, he said he wanted to stress that the East of England Co-op was independent of the troubled Co-operative Group which is based in Manchester.
He told MPs that the East of England Co-op, which operates across Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, was successful, with turnover and profit up and members still receiving a dividend.
He added that the society’s policy of local sourcing meant that producers and suppliers in East Anglia had themselves created a further 300 jobs.
Sir Bob, a Liberal Democrat, who was a director of the former Colchester and East Essex Co-operative Society for six years, from 1977 to 1983, said that the policy and ethos of the co-operative movement was as relevant in the 21st Century as it was when it was founded in the 19th Century.
Turning to credit unions, Sir Bob said that he was a member of the one in Colchester and he urged the Government to support such local initiatives of self-help, not for profit, voluntary organisations.