NFPC POLICY DOCUMENT
1 The size of the Board should be substantially reduced
from its existing size of 20 to a size more compatible with efficient working.
2 Independent professional advisors should be available to lay members of the Board for consultation
to provide alternative views to that provided by tCG management, its advisors and the management of other societies represented on the tCG board.
3 The intervention of the Financial Services Authority in the Group board's work must be accepted as inevitable, but the tCG board should be proactive in ensuring that changes maintain the co-operative structure of our member organisation.
4 More power, on the lines of that currently enjoyed by the North East, should be devolved to Regional Boards.
The present powers of regional boards are minimal. The declared importance of capital expenditure authorisation is a delusion, and proposals are accepted on the minimal information provided. Currently regional management can only be questioned about operational matters since the vertical management structure determines that retail policy and marketing and procurement activity is wholly controlled nationally.
5 Independent professional appraisal procedures should be established to set targets and monitor management's performance.
To objectively assess, motivate and challenge for improved commercial success. All executive remuneration should be based on profitability, return on capital and sustainable growth.
6 CRTG operating policies should be transparent to the directors of its member organisations.
To provide some degree of governance over this increasingly influential management group with directors of member societies adopting consensus between themselves instead of CEO’s alone.
7 Regular reports and external audited accounts of CRTG business activities should be provided to the directors of its member organisations.
So they can adequately exercise their duties and responsibilities over key decisions affecting their society operations.
STRUCTURAL ISSUES, LOCAL GOVERNANCE AND LOCAL DEMOCRACY
8 There should be a review of the decision-making process including provision of a National Members’ Council.
The decision making process of tCG is seen as far too 'top down', giving committee members little involvement in forming policy and plans. The perception is that ideas are formed at national level, consultation is cursory and the opportunity of lower levels to bring about alternative proposals is minimal. The problem for area committees is seen as particularly acute, and reflects the 'regional' ethos of the society. A national forum for debate and discussion is an important proposal that increases elected member involvement from all levels.
9 Boards and Committees should carry out Performance Appraisals of their own work on a regular basis.
To improve their effectiveness in providing a valuable and worthwhile service on behalf of the membership.
10 Elected members at all levels should have access to comprehensive training.
Which should prepare members for service at higher levels in the society and enhance their ability to perform their role and exercise control over society affairs.
11 Attention should be given to the process of accountability at all levels of the society.
All elected representatives are accountable to their electorate. Regular reporting back at all levels should be regarded as mandatory, and meetings should be structured to reflect this.
12 Attention should be given to the status of ordinary members within the society.
Greater emphasis should be made on member involvement and member services when considering the balance of finance and resource between membership work and wider community activities.
Ways must be sought to give ordinary members a sense of ownership with opportunities for collective action to make involvement meaningful..
The existing management and co-operative affairs resource pre-occupation with elected members which marginalises ordinary members should be re-dressed.
Encouraging and helping new candidates to advance and play their full part in democratic proceedings, reducing the natural disadvantage against them.
Such activity would facilitate greater participation in the democracy of the society.