Edwina Hart, Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science
I am advising Assembly Members that as 2012 is the UN International Year of Co-operatives I have set up a Welsh Co-operative and Mutuals Commission (the Commission), under the Chairmanship of Professor Andrew Davies, Swansea University’s Strategic Adviser.
The remit of the Commission will be to make recommendations on growing and developing the co-operative and mutual economy in Wales in order to create jobs and wealth in support of the Welsh Government’s aims and ambitions.
The role of the Commission will be to:
- Consider the evidence for supporting the co-operative and mutual sector in Wales;
- Consider 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; and
- Provide suggestions on strategic direction and practical recommendations for the achievement of the vision.
I am delighted that Professor Andrew Davies has agreed to Chair the Welsh Co-operative and Mutuals Commission. Andrew brings a wealth of experience as a former Assembly Member for Swansea West from 1999 to 2011 and as a former Welsh Government Finance Minister, and Economic Development Minister he is well known across Wales and the UK. Andrew also led the Ford Motor Company’s ground-breaking Employee Development and Assistance Programme in South Wales in the 1990s and served as the associate director of a public affairs company before being elected to the National Assembly for Wales in 1999. Andrew is also a trustee and non-executive director of UK Charity Bank.
I will make a further announcement on the membership of the Commission after the summer recess.