Co-operative Group Members’ Council elects new President

July 07, 2015

Nick Crofts has been elected President of The Co-operative Group’s Members’ Council, with Marc Bicknell and Dan Crowe also being elected as Vice-Presidents. This follows the Council’s meeting this weekend where an additional 12 member were appointed to its Senate.

Nick crofts

Nick Crofts President of The Co-operative Group

Nick replaces Lesley Reznicek who was elected Interim President of the Transitional Members’ Council in December 2014.  The elections have taken place following the Members’ Council elections which took place in May when 176 members stood for 45 vacancies.

The Members’ Council is made up of 100 members who have been elected by ordinary members to represent their interests. It plays an important role in the governance structure of the Group by holding the Board to account for the performance of the business. It ensures that Co-operative Values & Principles are upheld and is consulted on and influences both strategic and operational initiatives.

As an active Co-op member for many years, Nick was previously an elected member on our North West & North Midlands Regional Board and our Merseyside Area committee before our governance reforms. Nick works managing the office of Stephen Twigg MP and he represents the Knotty Ash ward on Liverpool City Council. Previously he spent 15 years in sales and marketing roles

Commenting on his appointment Nick Crofts said:

“I’m delighted to have been elected and I want to thank the Council members for the faith they have placed in me. I’m excited by the scale of the opportunity that the Council has and the role I will have to work with the Group Board and Group Executive on behalf of our millions of members and our 70,000 colleagues. I’m an enthusiastic Co-op customer, as are all of the Council, and together we will play a central role as the eyes and ears of our members as we Rebuild the Group.”

Richard Pennycook, Chief Executive of the Group, said:

“I would like to congratulate Nick Crofts on becoming the new Council President and to the two new Vice Presidents - Marc Bicknell and Dan Crowe. We have plenty of work ahead of us as we progress through the rebuild of our business.
I would also like to offer my warmest thanks on behalf of the Group to Lesley Reznicek who led the Council during its start-up phase, steering through its new working arrangements and establishing its constitutional role.”

Allan Leighton, Chairman of the Group, added:

“I would like to wish Nick, Marc and Dan and all of the senate members well in their new roles. They have crucial work ahead of them as we Rebuild the business and look to engage and inspire our millions of members in new and innovative ways.”

As the Group presses on with its rebuild it has made key senior appointments, strengthening the professionalism of its Board and breadth of market experience in its senior management team.

Recent Board appointments

The Group, recently announced the appointment of Peter Plumb - Chief Executive of PLC and Stevie Spring -Chair of the ITG Group and BBC’s Children in Need. Both bring senior boardroom and turnaround experience as well as fresh perspectives from other markets.

Strengthening management and leadership

Richard Lancaster, currently Trading and Marketing Director at Poundland, joins the Funeralcare business in September as Managing Director. He will be followed by Robert Maclachlan, from Golden charter in January 2016, who joins as National Operations Director. Both bring a rich experience of working in high-profile, complex and customer-orientated businesses that will be vital in leading The Co-operative Funeralcare as it develops its future vision and new strategy.

Recent Secretariat/Governance appointments

Debbie Adams joined the Group on 1 July as Group Secretary, replacing Claire Davies who chose to leave the business after this year’s AGM. Debbie’s arrival allows us to continue the good progress we have made in strengthening our governance structures. Debbie will report to Allan Leighton.
The Members’ Council has appointed its first permanent Council Secretary, Gill Gardner. This is a leadership role, supporting the President and the new Member Council and acting as the key interface with members on governance matters. She will interpret our rules, oversee the work of the Council Secretariat. Gill will report to Nick Crofts.


The Co-operative Group

  • Jon Church: 07545210812
  • Russ Brady: 07880784442

Tulchan Communications

  • Jonathan Sibun: 020 7353 4200 

The Members’ Council

The Council represent members and act as guardian of the Group’s Purpose, Values and Principles and the Society’s Constitution, with the power to hold the Group Board to account. Once elected Council Members can serve a term of up to 3 years before requiring re-election.

The Council is composed of a maximum of 100 Members and is made up of individual members, employee members and representatives of the independent society members.

Members appointed to the Senate are:

  • Nick Crofts – President
  • Marc Bicknell - Vice President – Business Strategy, Performance & Development
  • Dan Crowe - Vice President – Co-operative Performance, Democratic Processes & Member Voice
  • Frank Nelson
  • Tricia Davies
  • Louise Walker
  • Martin Rogers
  • Bev Perkins
  • John Dalley
  • Nicolette Ester
  • Sue Smith
  • Jenny de Villiers
  • Gavin Ewing
  • Tanya Noon
  • Nick Matthews

The Co-operative Group

The Co-operative Group, one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, with interests across food, funerals, insurance, electrical and legal services, has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, The Co-operative Group operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 employees and an annual turnover of approximately £10 billion.