In Cardiff Bay, Assembly members have taken the opportunity this Co-operatives Fortnight to draw attention to the contribution that co-operatives make to the nation’s economy (currently valued at £34bn), as well as to take stock of the progress the Welsh Government is making towards fulfilling the recommendations of the 2014 Welsh Co-operatives Commission Report, which set out a range of steps to support the growth of co-operative enterprise across Wales.

In the week leading up, Jeremy Miles AM, speaking during Business Questions, requested that the Welsh government make statement updating AMs on its plans to take the Commission’s Recommendations’ forward following this May’s election:

I thank the leader of the house for her statement. The Government in the fourth Assembly welcomed the conclusions and recommendations of the Welsh Co-operative and Mutuals Commission, chaired by Andrew Davies. Will the Government bring forward a statement outlining what steps it will take in the fifth Assembly to take those recommendations forward?

In her response, Jane Hutt AM, speaking on the Government’s behalf, reiterated its commitment to the continued growth of the Welsh co-operative economy, noting that “co-operative ways of working and doing business are becoming the norm, not the exception”. The full exchange is here:

Co-operatives Fortnight Statement of Opinion

In Co-operatives Fortnight itself, Jeremy Miles and other members of the Party’ Welsh Assembly Group have built on the previous week’s work by tabling a ‘Statement of Opinion’ that found widespread support. The Statement welcomes the growth in the Welsh Co-operative sector (Highlighted in the recent Co-operative Economy 2016 Report by Co-operatives UK), whilst urging the Welsh Government to continue pushing forward:

 This Assembly: Notes that Co-operatives Fortnight is 18th June-2nd July and welcomes the recent report on the UK co-operative economy 2016, published by Co-operatives UK, which states that the number of members of co-operatives in the UK has increased by over 2 million since 2012 to 17.5 million. Co-operatives now contribute £34 billion to the UK economy. In Wales, co-ops provide employment for thousands of people, with a turnover approaching £1 billion. Urges the Welsh Government to continue to recognise the contribution of co-operatives to a stronger, fairer Wales, and to prioritise implementation of the Co-operative and Mutuals Commission recommendations.)