SCOTTISH First Minister Jack McConnell has revealed plans for a long-awaited Co-operative Development Agency for Scotland.
In a speech to the first Annual Forum and Annual General Meeting of Co-operation and Mutuality Scotland Mr McConnell launched a consultation paper on a Scottish CDA.
He said: "Our aim with this new agency is to provide tailored support and assistance to people wishing to start-up a co-operative. And it is our intention that the Agency must also be able to provide assistance to those existing co-operatives seeking to grow."
The Scottish Executive believes a CDA should be formed because of the "lack of general business support advice" for co-operatives in Scotland ? although specialist advice is available in the agriculture, rural and housing sectors.
Jim Lee, Secretary of CMS and Co-operative Party National Organiser for Scotland, told the News: "CMS welcomes the support of the First Minister for this major development for the Scottish co-operative and mutual sector.
"We recognise that the First Minister's high-profile involvement in the launch of the consultation process underlines the importance the Scottish Executive places in fulfilling its Partneship Agreement commitment to a CDA.
"We particularly welcome the links the First Minister made in his speech between co-operative principals and the Scottish Executive's agenda for Scotland. It is clear that he and his ministers will ensure that co-operation is not seen as some sort of backwater but a modern, vibrant force in society which can deliver solutions to the problems of the 21st century."
Lewis Macdonald MSP, Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning, said that he hopes such an agency can help "promote, create and develop dynamic and sustainable co-operatives" in a number of sectors of the Scottish economy because of the benefits they can bring to the economy as a whole.
He said: "We expect the agency will act as a first-stop shop for those seeking access to the expertise, advice, training and resources required to support the establishment of new co-operatives, and that it will also offer support services to enhance the growth of existing co-operatives."
The consultation is looking for feedback on what the main aims, objectives and work areas of the CDA should be; what barriers to development need to be overcome; and how such an organisation can work alongside other bodies ? both in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK.
To view a copy of the document visit: www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations/enterprise/codac-00.asp and to contribute to the debate e-mail: CDA consultation by June 14th.
For further information on how to submit feedback or to receive a hard copy of the consultation document telephone 0141 242 5612.
In this article
- Co-operative Party
- Contact Details
- Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning
- First Minister of Scotland
- Jack McConnell
- Jim Lee
- Members of the Scottish Parliament 1999-2003
- Members of the Scottish Parliament 2003-2007
- Members of the Scottish Parliament 2007-
- Scottish CDA
- Social Issues
- The Co-operative Group
- United Kingdom