The Welsh Government’s Business Minister, Edwina Hart, says the principality’s new Co-operative and Mutuals Commission will help create more jobs and wealth in Wales and improve public services.
Said Ms Hart: “This diverse sector makes an important contribution to the Welsh economy while providing valuable support and services for individuals and communities. However it is important that we understand how this sector could grow and develop and examine what interventions and support may be needed.”
Chaired by Prof Andrew Davies, Swansea University’s Strategic Adviser, the commission will make recommendations on growing and developing the co-operative and mutual economy in Wales.
Also appointed to the commission are: Nicholas Bennett, Chief Executive of Community Housing Cymru; Dr Molly Scott Cato, Professor of Strategy and Sustainability at Roehampton University; Dame Pauline Green, President of International Co-operative Alliance; David Jenkins, Chair of the Aneurin Bevan Health Board and the Wales Co-operative Centre; Robin Murray, industrial and environmental economist; Dr Ben Reynolds, Director of Trilein; and Sir Paul Williams OBE, former Chief Executive NHS Wales.
The commission will consider the evidence for supporting the co-operative and mutual sector in Wales, and will look at how the existing business advice for the sector might be strengthened.
It will identify specific areas that might be targeted for additional support by the Welsh Government, and consider best practice and evaluations. The commission will then set out a vision for the co-operative and mutual economy in Wales, identify and establish benchmarks, and provide suggestions on how to achieve its goals.
The commission holds its first meeting next month and will hear and gather evidence from key individuals and organisations with the aim of providing a draft report to the Minister in September.
Activist David Smith, of the Wales Progressive Co-operators, told the News: “We are very pleased the commission has now been established following a motion tabled in the National Assembly in 2011, which called for a ‘task and finish’ group to be set up.
“We expect the Commission to be open and innovative and await details of its perspectives and time scale. We aim to support co-operators submitting evidence and give a voice to the voice-less. Our focus will be social co-operatives and co-operative education will be a key issue.”
Co-operatives in Wales currently generate over a £1 billion per year in income and employ an estimated 7,000 people.
In this article
- Andrew Davies
- Business models
- chief executive
- Community Housing Cymru
- Company Founded
- Consumer cooperative
- Edwina Hart
- Molly Scott Cato
- Nicholas Bennett
- Pauline Green
- Person Career
- Roehampton University
- Social Issues
- Swansea University
- The Co-operative brand
- The Co-operative Group
- Wales Co-operative Centre
- Welsh government
- United Kingdom