We respond to consultations on matters related to our programmes of work and our expertise. Read our latest responses and find out how to get involved.
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You can find out about the latest consultation responses that we are working on in our monthly newsletter. To sign up, complete the form here. To get involved and feed into future responses, contact the marketing team.
Wales Co-operative Centre was asked to prepare a response relating to Cardiff City Council’s draft Carbon Neutral Cardiff Strategy. This ambitious strategy is a positive and ambitious step for the City Council. The response from Wales Co-operative Centre highlighted the need to engage the business community in delivering the strategy and emphasised the role the social businesses can play in local supply chains. The response was presented to the Council’s Environment Scrutiny Committee.
This Welsh Affairs Select Committee consultation related to how Wales and the UK planned to emerge from the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the support that would be needed for the Welsh economy, as we started the recovery process. The response outlined the importance of the social business sector in the recovery and rebuild phase and emphasised the need for support for the hospitality, culture and tourism sectors in Wales.
This consultation focussed on the plans for Regional investment in Wales. Our response broadly supported the proposals and we highlighted the need for some funding streams, such as those for business support, to remain at a pan Wales level. The submission also emphasised the productive and competitive role that social businesses play within the Welsh economy and the vital contribution that they will make in the post COVID recovery.
This consultation from the Welsh Affairs Committee examined plans for how Wales could receive funding after the UK leaves the EU. As a number of Wales Co-operative Centre’s projects, such as Social Business Wales, are funded via European Structural Funds our response supported that the existing funding streams that come to Wales, should continue to be held in Wales to be distributed. The response also supported Welsh Government’s proposals for a Framework for Regional Investment in Wales.
The Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee undertook an inquiry into the Covid-19 outbreak in Wales. The inquiry considered the impact of coronavirus, and the response to it, on local government, housing, equalities, tackling poverty and human rights. Our submission focused on the impact on those who are digitally-excluded and the work of Digital Communities Wales in response to this crisis.
The inquiry will consider the impact of the outbreak, and its management on sectors under the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee’s remit. Our submission highlighted the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the arts/entertainment/recreation sector, the sector with the highest proportion of social enterprises in Wales.
This inquiry considered the impact of the outbreak, and its management, on health and social care services in Wales. Our submission highlighted the stark impact on digital exclusion on older people in Wales, which has been exacerbated by the current crisis. It also highlighted the work of Digital Communities Wales in response to the crisis, and especially its Digital Device scheme in care homes across the country.
The Welsh Government issued an invitation to send thoughts on how they should support future post-Covid recovery and reconstruction in Wales. Our response highlighted the 10 priority asks that we have developed, that prioritise the development of a wellbeing economy and digital inclusion in Wales.
The Committees of the Senedd sought information to inform their scrutiny of the Welsh Government’s 2021-22 Draft Budget proposals. Our response discussed the importance and the development of a Wellbeing Budget, drawing on the example of New Zealand. It then highlighted our 10 key priority asks of the next Welsh Government, and showed how they can contribute to the development of a Wellbeing Economy in Wales.
Digital Health and Care Wales will be a new special health authority to deliver national digital, data and technology services for health and care in Wales. This consultation sought views on the proposed governance structure of the new organisation and the proposed functions of the new organisation. Our response highlighted the essential aspect of Digital Inclusion that we strongly believe must be foundational to the new authority.
Welsh Government conducted a cross-government review of their programmes and services to ensure they have maximum impact on the lives of children, young people and families living in poverty. Our response highlighted how social business contributes to tackling child poverty. We also highlighted how digital inclusion initiatives such as Techmums and My Digital Life could support young people and parents to improve their skills.
Welsh Government consulted on proposals for a Social Partnership Bill to strengthen social partnership arrangements in Wales and provide a framework to drive greater social equality for Welsh workers across the economy. Our response welcomed the proposals outlined in the consultation document but highlighted our concerns that the social business and third sector are not included in the scope of membership of the proposed Social Partnership Council.
The Fair Work Commission was established by Welsh Government to recommend how to encourage fair employment practices across Wales. Our response highlighted indicators to suggest that the social economy is a fair work sector, trade union and co-operative solutions for self-employed workers and the potential role for public procurement.
Welsh Government established the Affordable Housing Review to examine whether more can be done to increase the supply of affordable housing in Wales. Our response highlighted how community-led housing can make a real contribution to the target of 20,000 new homes in Wales and should be given increased priority.
The Law Commission consulted on leasehold enfranchisement reform. While our response welcomed proposals around collective freehold acquisition, we called for the ‘nominee purchaser’ (those collectively purchasing freehold) to include co-operative societies and not just a companies limited by guarantee. We have worked with the Confederation of Co-operative Housing to develop model rules for co-operative leasehold trusts which could be adapted by other leasehold schemes. Our response highlights the characteristics of the co-operative model which make it particularly suited to this role.
Welsh Government’s consultation set out definitions of loneliness and isolation and its suggested approach to addressing the issue in the future. Our response highlighted the role that co-operatives and co-operation can in building resilience to help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. We demonstrated how digital technology can also be used to tackle loneliness and isolation.
The National Assembly’s Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee held an inquiry into access to banking in Wales. Our joint response with the board of Banc Cambria considered the impact on communities of bank closures and the increase in ATM charges. We also considered the impact of bank closures on small businesses. Our response also the benefits of community banks and the process for establishing such as bank in Wales.
The Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee ran an inquiry into public procurement in the foundational economy. We submitted a joint response with other social enterprise support organisations across Wales. Our response outlined actions to increase the number of social enterprises accessing public procurement. Increasing local procurement will help support local enterprises in the foundational economy and build wealth in communities but needs to be considered alongside other actions to maximise potential benefits. This includes supporting social enterprises to access procurement opportunities, supporting collaboration and the formation of consortia bids and wider ranging changes to procurement. We called for a clear definition of and guidance from Welsh Government of local procurement and social value.
The National Assembly’s Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee held an inquiry into empty homes. Our response outlined how co-operative and community-led housing can help to tackle some of the challenges associated with empty properties. We also outlined how Local Authorities can work with community led schemes to tackle empty properties and Housing associations can identify empty properties that can be brought back into use through community led schemes. We were pleased that the Committee’s response recommended that working with community groups to understand their priorities and ensure their involvement is crucial to the success of regeneration projects. The Committee also highlighted their interest in our Toolkit for Developing Co-operative Housing.