The theme this year is 'Going for Growth - Growing a sustainable co-operative sector'. Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, reiterated Government support for the co-operative sector and announced that a White Paper will soon be published, which will seek to encourage active engagement in community groups including co-operatives. Kitty Ussher MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, set out a number of measures, that will be enacted using secondary legislation, to level the playing field between co-operatives and companies.
One of the steps announced will see a reduction in the age qualification for directors of co-operatives to 16, in line with company legislation. Kitty Ussher also told delegates that