Concerned co-operator invited to join Welsh Co-operative and Mutuals Commission

molly businessMolly Scott Cato has been asked to join the Welsh Government’s Co-operative and Mutuals Commission.

Some will already have read this news in the Co-operative News or on the New Era and Localise West Midlands websites. The latter reminds us of her ‘day job’ – Professor of Strategy and Sustainability at the University of Roehampton – and gives a brief summary of her latest book, The Bioregional Economy.

She writes:

“We met on Friday and it was cheering to find how much public policy support there is for co-operatives in Wales. I have a question about how far the state can facilitate co-operative activity that should be self-motivating”.

The Commission’s task is to examine how the co-operative sector can create more jobs and wealth and improve services in Wales.

In Wales, co-operatives generate more than £1billion in income a year and employ an estimated 7,000 people (2010 figures). Eight of Wales’ co-operatives, which have a combined turnover of more than £165million, feature in the UK’s top 100 co-operatives by turnover.

The Commission will:

  • Consider the evidence for supporting the co-operative and mutual sector in Wales;
  • Consider the existing business advice for the co-operative and mutual sector and provide suggestions on how this might be strengthened;
  • Identify specific areas that might be targeted for additional support by the Welsh Government;
  • Consider best practice and evaluations that may be available;
  • Set out a vision for the co-operative and mutual economy in Wales;
  • Identify and establish benchmarks;
  • Provide suggestions on strategic direction and practical recommendations for the achievement of the vision.

It is to hold 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 2013.

Commission members are not remunerated although some travel and other reasonable expenses incurred can be claimed.

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