The Welsh government has published its programme for government, which is focused on driving improvement to economy and public services. It includes commitments to promoting co-operative and mutual models across different sectors.
The document, Taking Wales Forward 2016-2021, highlights the Labour and Co-operative government’s plans to grow the nation’s economy. In the energy sector, it aims to promote renewable energy and community energy schemes.
Another pledge is to develop a new, not-for-profit, rail franchise. First Minister Carwyn Jones confirmed during an Assembly exchange with Labour/Co-op AM Jeremy Miles that the government would be exploring co-operative options as alternative models in the delivery of the South Wales Metro Rail system.
The programme also includes measures to back business, including tailored support for co-operatives and mutuals.
In addition, the government aims to tackle the lack of access to financial services by supporting advice services and credit unions.
And in another opportunity for co-operatives and mutuals, the document pledges to introduce measures to prevent unnecessary closures and help communities take ownership of community assets.