THE Co-operative group will face the final hurdle in its plans for a radical shake-up of the way it is run.

A special general meeting tomorrow (Saturday, August 30) will decide on proposals drawn up in the wake of a disastrous period last year when it racked up record £2.5bn losses.

The plans include reform of the food-to-funerals group's board structure, with elected directors, including the likes of a plasterer, engineer and retired deputy head teacher, largely replaced by professional business people.

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The proposals were produced following a review by former City minister Lord Myners, though they water down his recommendation to purge the board of elected directors, instead opting to keep three chosen by the group's membership.

The rest of the board would consist of an independent chairman, five independent non-executive directors and two executive directors including the chief executive.

Co-op chair Ursula Lidbetter earlier this month said the reforms represented the final crucial step in delivering necessary change to restore the group.

Last week, the lender reported first-half losses had narrowed from £845m to £76m, but said it had lost 38,000 current account holders amid a "hurricane of negative publicity".