Chelmsford Star Co-operative Party

Chelmsford Star Co-operative Party

The Co-operative Party was founded in 1917 to represent co-operatives and to ensure that co-operatives and their members have a strong voice in national and local politics. The roots of the Party are in the nineteenth century when many attempts were made to try to introduce a fairer, co-operative way of trading, and provide housing and employment but the first successful attempt was in 1844 when the Rochdale Pioneers founded the first successful Co-operative Society. In a quite a short time this route to success became a blueprint for thousands of co-operatives in the UK and worldwide.

The Chelmsford Star Co-operative Party was founded in 1943 on an initiative by members of Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society and it has played an active part in our community since its formation. It is an Independent Society Party of the national Co-operative Party and exists to promote and protect co-operatives and co-operative values

If you would like to know exactly how it came into being and read details of some of the leading personalities involved, you might like to read Chelmsford Star, A Co-operative History by Malcolm Wallace.

Our aims

We work to promote co-operative and mutual forms of economic, social and voluntary organisation based on the principles of mutual ownership and democratic control.  We also seek to promote co-operative values and principles throughout our society.

In our view, people will achieve more by working together than they can achieve alone.  We believe that through increased co-operation we will achieve a sustainable future for our economy, environment and society as a whole.  We support efforts to bring about the empowerment of individuals and communities through co-operative self-help initiatives.

What we do

Chelmsford Star Co-operative Party meets regularly and its members engage in debate, informing themselves and debating the advantages of the co-operative and mutual sector.  We hold meetings on a variety of subjects, sometimes inviting speakers of considerable repute,and have links with other Co-operative Parties from all over the East of England.

Although we are an independent political party we have had an electoral agreement with the Labour Party since 1917.  This is an agreement which undertakes not to stand against each other.   Our national membership is rising and so is the number of Co-operative MPs and Councillors across the country.

We are affiliated to Co-operatives East, Chelmsford Fairtrade and Chelmsford and Braintree Labour Parties.

As part of our democratic organisation, the Co-operative Party holds an Annual Conference to which we send delegates in order to receive training and have the chance to talk to co-operators from all over the UK.  We provide reports on our activities to all our members, to Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society and to the National Party.   As an Independent Co-operative Party we receive support from Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society – our founders.

Our members take an active part in

  • Campaigning for the adoption of co-operative solutions at all levels of government and in our area
  • Campaigning for the recognition of consumer rights
  • Having a say about decisions in the community
  • Organising to raise awareness of local and national issues
  • Providing a platform on which like-minded members can meet and learn from each other

The Co-operative Party publishes wide range of pamphlets and policy briefings relating to national policies and also gives us support in developing our party.

If you would like to know more about the Co-operative Party and what is happening in your area locally, please contact the Secretary on 07918 715844 or email

If you would like to more about the National Party, the website is