Our members own Middleton Co-operating and control the organisation through a Members’ Council, which appoints our Management Committee.
We have 5 categories of membership:
- individuals who live and work in Middleton;
- local community groups;
- partner co-operative organisations;
- local small and medium-sized businesses;
- anchor organisations (eg Rochdale Council, the local NHS organisations, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, Hopwood Hall College)
Each of these 5 categories elects 3 people to the Members Council, and the Members Council sets our organisation’s strategy and appoints the Management Committee at our Annual General Meetings.
Membership costs just £1 - a one-off joining fee.
We plan to hold our first Annual General Meeting in September 2022.
As a community benefit society, registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, we have a set of rules that defines our organisation’s structure, how we are governed, and how decisions are made.
If you're interested in our rules, we'll be happy to share them with you, and they are accessible through the Mutuals Public Register which is on the Financial Conduct Authority's website or just click here.
We are committed to a sociocratic approach to governance and decision-making, and this is incorporated into our rules as a community benefit society.
This means that when we have to make significant decisions about our organisation or the work that we're doing, we do this through a process that aims at reaching the informed consent of all participants, rather than just having a majority vote.
It also means that our work is progressed through "circles" in which members and others work and learn together - for example, in setting up and operating a community energy co-operative.
We are still in the early stages of learning about and practicing sociocracy, but we believe it will be a helpful way of sharing power, including everyone in decision-making, and making good and sensible decisions.
If you'd like to find out more about sociocracy, here's an example of a website that explains it fairly simply - Sociocracy for All.