How Starley Housing Co-op is Managed

 As democracy is of paramount importance in running any co-operative, a way of managing Starley has had to be devised that can allow everyone a voice, yet at the same time ensure that the business of the Co-op is carried out efficiently. We think our present management structure fits the bill on both counts.

The General Meeting

We manage ourselves! Yes that’s right, we take all the major decisions about our lives and our community ourselves! The major forum for discussion and decision making is the General Meeting, which is currently held on a bi-monthly basis, with the Annual General Meeting being held once a year. The General Meeting is deemed to be of such importance, that attendance is required as part of each resident’s tenancy agreement. It is important that those who cannot attend a General meeting should register their apologies at the Co-operative office. Apologies are noted on the meeting minutes.  These are some of the functions of the General Meeting:

  • It is the opportunity for a member to express their comments or feelings about what is going on in the Co-operative, and to cast their votes on decisions affecting the Co-op.
  • It is the debating ground for the major issues affecting members or the Co-op as a whole. For example, plans for expansion of the Co-operative, our response to changes in housing legislation, changes to the Co-op’s Policies, and matters affecting the Co-operative’s finances.
  • It receives reports from the Officers, Committees, and any Sub-Committees of the Co-operative.
  • It elects the Management Committee at the AGM.

Please remember, that attending the General meeting is also a social occasion, as friends and neighbours get together after the business of the meeting has taken place, just to chat with each other and catch up with the latest events. Residents are encouraged not to look on attendance at the General Meeting as a chore but to see it as a chance to be in control over their own lives, to improve the environment and to make the Community into a place where they feel safe and secure.

The Officers of the Management Committee

1. The Chairperson of the Co-operative.
2. The Secretary
3. The Treasurer
4. The Repair Officer

The Management Committee of the Co-operative, in accordance to the Rules, cannot have more than 15 people serving on it and this includes the above posts.

At the first meeting after the AGM, the Committee decides who amongst them is best suited to take on the above roles. This may involve just an interest in the role, or members may have knowledge or a skill that suits the post. Sub Committees may also be set up at this stage, so it is important that members make known their interest in perhaps Lettings or the Social side of the organisation. Members need not have any special skills to undertake any of these posts, or to take part in any Sub Committees, as full training will be given and support from other Committee members as required.

Some matters cannot wait two months to be seen to, others are too small to be put on the busy agenda of a General Meeting, and still others require weekly rather than monthly reporting – so these matters are dealt with by the Management Committee, which meets on a two-weekly basis. As detailed above, the Committee may feel it is necessary to set up Sub-Committees or working parties to deal with special issues. These Sub groups are accountable to the Committee, and therefore the membership as a whole.

In accordance with the Rules of the Co-operative, General and Management Meetings cannot take place unless a quorum of members are present. This just means that a set number of members must be present before the business of the meeting can commence. This ensures that a small number of members are not making decisions, for the Co-operative. Full details of quorums are set out in the Fully Mutual Rules, which are available in the Co-op office and for download from this web site (see bottom of page).

The office produces a schedule of meeting dates on a quarterly basis for all members. Any member is welcome to attend a Management Committee meeting, providing they have notified the Chair or another Committee member of their intention, though they may be asked to leave for items of discussion that are especially sensitive or covered by data protection legislation. Minutes of meetings are available to all members, and a current list of the Management Committee is displayed in the Co-op office.

Current Committee Officers

For an up to date list of all current Committee Officers/Members and Sub-Committee members please visit the Starley Co-op Office.

Sub-Committees:

Allocations

This group is responsible for interviewing housing applicants and for allocating properties to those on the internal transfer list and to those referred to us from Coventry Homefinder. Their aim to to ensure that all applicants are aware of what it means to be a Co-op member and to match the person or family to the right property. All prospective new members are asked if they are prepared to contribute towards the Co-operative.

Social

The social sub-committee organises events and excursions for adults and children and supervises the youth club and other internal activities for children and young people, including sports training and many other activities. Recently a trip was made to Drayton Manor Park and each year a visit to the Belgrade Theatre Christmas Panto is organised. The work of this sub-committee is seen to be of vital importance to the Co-operative.