Wales Co-operative Centre

Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru

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Reflecting on the last 12 months – part 1

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With the new financial year barely a week old, Derek Walker, our Chief Executive, has taken the opportunity to look back on the last twelve months at the Wales Co-operative Centre….

Derek Walker

Derek Walker

I was recently looking through the posts on our blog site from the last twelve months. I was struck by the realisation that we have covered an awful lot of ground as an organisation. In addition, the scale of our output is matched by the quality and impact of our work.

It’s a healthy thing to look back at what has gone before, as you can learn from experience and take confidence from what has gone well. Another thing that occurred to me was the rich diversity of our work.

Since the start of the last financial year, some new clients have emerged. To highlight just a few – AFS in Swansea, where former Remploy staff came together to form a worker co-operative that has already proven successful. The Cambrian Village Trust social enterprise, in Clydach Vale, was supported to open a new, world class, all-weather football pitch. PS Services, a social business run by mental health charity Gofal, won the ‘One to Watch’ category at the UK Social Enterprise Awards. Many other businesses that we’ve supported have gone from strength to strength, showing that co-operatives and social enterprises are models for growth, as well as sustainability.

Elsewhere in the Centre, we’ve received additional funding from Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund to expand the area covered by Communities 2.0, to now help people in the most deprived parts of Cardiff, Newport, Vale of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire make the most of computers and the Internet. Communities 2.0 has also seen a number of county-wide initiatives launch in the last year, heavily based on strong partnership work – bringing the people and organisations together than can make a real difference.

Accommodation Furniture Solutions Ltd

Accommodation Furniture Solutions Ltd

Our co-operative housing project has been extended for another two years. More groups around Wales are talking to us, and our partners, about the potential to develop co-operative housing schemes in their community, giving people more direct control over their living arrangements.

The year’s watershed moment came with the publication of the Welsh Co-operative and Mutuals Commission report. Led by Professor Andrew Davies, the Commission has concluded that “conventional approaches to economic growth and development are not sufficient alone to achieve the improvement in the social and economic wellbeing of people in Wales”, adding “co-operatives and mutuals offer significant economic, social and environmental benefits compared with ordinary businesses. Their development must be central to transforming Wales’ economic fortunes”. These words come as a clarion call to those involved in the co-operatives and mutuals sector, as well as those on the fringes who have yet to realise the full potential of co-operative approaches to economic development. The report’s recommendations are currently being discussed at a series of consultation events and it will be interesting to hear how others think they should be taken forward. The report’s recommendations have the Centre’s full support.

Join us for the second part of this blog post, later in the week…

Capital Gains Tax? What a Relief!

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Capital Gains Tax? What a Relief!

On April 6th 2014, the UK Government will formally launch a range of tax incentives to help grow the employee ownership sector. There will be an exemption from income tax of £3,600 for certain payments made to employees of qualifying employee-owned companies, and the introduction of a relief from capital gains tax (CGT) for owners selling a controlling interest to a trust which operates for the benefit of all employees. Finally, a tax hook on which to promote employee ownership to those business owners considering their business succession options!!

Although the Centre is disappointed that direct forms of employee ownership, such as the worker co-operative model, have not been recognised, this is still a significant milestone for employee ownership. The tax incentives headline what has been a very busy 18 months of UK policy development in this area, stimulated in the main by the recommendations in the 2012 Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership, ‘Sharing Success ‘

To us at the Wales Co-operative Centre, employee ownership is an economic ‘no brainer’. Giving employees an ownership stake in a business changes their relationship with the business and encourages them to take a positive and proactive role in helping their company grow. Recent research by the Cass Business School supports this by showing that employee owned businesses are more stable and more resilient as a direct result of the employees gaining a real stake in the success of that business.

Here in Wales, we see employee ownership as a crucial succession option which can help keep jobs, business and skills in Wales. Unfortunately it is often the forgotten succession option, not being viewed as a mainstream idea by conventional business advisers. At the Wales Co-operative Centre, we have received support from Welsh Government and European Union Regional Development funding to implement employee ownership in Wales and are actively working with both businesses and advisers to put employee ownership firmly in the mainstream.

To mark the introduction of the new tax regime for employee ownership, the Wales Co-operative Centre is hosting a number of breakfast seminars looking at the benefits of employee ownership and how the new tax incentives can benefit business owners who would like to move on from the business.

The events in Cardiff, Carmarthen and Bodnant in North Wales will also consider the employee trust, how it fits with your business model, and the benefits of the model for the business owner and the employees. The seminars will be of interest to business owners interested in looking at their exit strategies and to business advisors who want to know more about the approach to advise their clients. To find out more click here.

In our view, tax should not be the sole driving factor to considering employee ownership. Many of our clients are driven by legacy, and see employee ownership as an approach that engages employees and puts them in charge of their own futures. It helps retain jobs and provides a platform for continued local business ownership and growth. However, having an additional incentive to help promote the employee ownership exit route is never a bad thing and we’ll be working hard to promote the new relief available to business owners here in Wales.

Let’s just hope those clever tax specialists don’t find some loophole which allows companies to abuse the incentive for purposes other than employee ownership, otherwise we could see it withdrawn from the market as quick as at arrived.

Further information can be found on the Wales Co-operative Centres Website

Places can be booked directly by calling the Centre on 0300 111 5050.

Rhian Edwards is manager of the ERDF and Welsh Government Business Succession project at the Wales Co-operative Centre. Her team works with micro-businesses and SME’s across Wales to develop employee ownership approaches and employee ownership based succession planning.

New Capital Gains Tax rules encourage owners to sell to their staff / Rheolau newydd ar gyfer Treth ar Enillion Cyfalaf yn annog perchnogion busnes i werthu i’w staff

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New Capital Gains Tax rules encourage owners to sell to their staff / Rheolau newydd ar gyfer Treth ar Enillion Cyfalaf yn annog perchnogion busnes i werthu i’w staff

Business owners across the UK could be benefiting from selling their businesses to their employees when new Capital Gains Tax Reliefs come into force this April. Business owners who sell a controlling stake in their company to an Employee Share Trust, which is owned and run by all the businesses employees will be able to benefit from drastically reduced tax on the profit from the sale.

In Wales, the Wales Co-operative Centre is hosting a number of breakfast seminars looking at the benefits of employee ownership and how the new tax incentives can benefit business owners who would like to move on from the business.

The events in Cardiff, Carmarthen and Bodnant in North Wales will also consider the employee owned trust model, how employee ownership works and the benefits for the business owner and the employees.

The seminars will be of interest to business owners interested in looking at their exit strategies and to business advisors who want to know more about the approach..

Rhian Edwards is Manager of the Welsh Government and ERDF funded Succession project at the Wales Co-operative Centre. She commented,

“This new tax relief makes it extremely attractive for business owners to consider employee ownership as a planned exit strategy. It offers the best of both worlds, a tax efficient exit strategy and an approach that engages employees and puts them in charge of their own futures”.

Further information can be found on the Wales Co-operative Centres Website

Places can be booked directly by calling the Centre on 0300 111 5050


Gallai perchnogion busnes ledled y DU elwa ar werthu eu busnesau i’w gweithwyr pan ddaw Ryddhad Treth ar Enillion Cyfalaf newydd i rym fis Ebrill eleni. Bydd perchnogion busnes sy’n gwerthu cyfran reoli yn eu cwmni i Ymddiriedolaeth Perchnogaeth Gweithwyr, sy’n eiddo i holl weithwyr y busnes ac yn cael ei reoli ganddynt, yn gallu elwa ar ostyngiad treth enfawr ar yr elw o’r gwerthiant.

Yng Nghymru, mae Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru’n cynnal nifer o seminarau brecwast i edrych ar fanteision perchnogaeth gweithwyr a sut y gall y cymhelliant treth newydd fod yn fuddiol i berchnogion busnes a hoffai symud ymlaen o’r busnes.

Bydd y digwyddiadau yng Nghaerdydd, Caerfyrddin a Bodnant yng Ngogledd Cymru hefyd yn ystyried yr ymddiriedolaethau newydd, sut y mae perchnogaeth gweithwyr yn gweithio a’r manteision ar gyfer perchennog y busnes a’r gweithwyr.

Bydd y seminarau o ddiddordeb i berchnogion busnes sydd â diddordeb mewn ystyried eu strategaethau ymadael ac i ymgynghorwyr busnes sy’n dymuno gwybod rhagor am yr ymagwedd er mwyn cynghori’u cleientiaid.

Rhian Edwards yw Rheolwr y prosiect Olyniaeth dan nawdd Llywodraeth Cymru a Chronfa Datblygu Rhanbarthol Ewrop yng Nghanolfan Cydweithredol Cymru. Dywedodd,

“Mae’r rhyddhad treth newydd hwn yn hynod o ddeniadol i berchnogion busnes ystyried perchnogaeth gweithwyr yn strategaeth ymadael fwriadol. Mae’n cynnig y gorau o ddau fyd, sef strategaeth ymadael sy’n effeithlon o ran treth ac ymagwedd sy’n ymglymu gweithwyr a’u gwneud yn gyfrifol am eu dyfodol eu hunain.”

Mae rhagor o wybodaeth ar gael ar wefan Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru

Gellir cadw lle’n uniongyrchol hefyd trwy ffonio’r Ganolfan ar 0300 111 5050




Wales Co-operative Centre

The Wales Co-operative Centre was set up thirty years ago and ever since has been helping businesses grow, people to find work and communities to tackle the issues that matter to them. Its advisors work co-operatively across Wales, providing expert, flexible and reliable support to develop sustainable businesses and strong, inclusive communities.

Succession and Consortia Project

The Wales Co-operative Centre’s Succession and Consortia project is funded by Welsh Government and European Regional Development Fund. It offers support to business owners and employees considering employee ownership and creation of worker co-operatives. It also offers support to businesses working to work together to form co-operative consortia.

Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru

Sefydlwyd Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru ddeng mlynedd ar hugain yn ôl ac ers hynny bu’n helpu busnesau i dyfu, pobl i gael gwaith a chymunedau i ddatrys y problemau sydd o bwys iddynt. Mae ymgynghorwyr y Ganolfan yn gweithio’n gydweithredol ledled Cymru, gan ddarparu cefnogaeth arbenigol, hyblyg a dibynadwy er mwyn datblygu busnesau cynaliadwy a chymunedau cadarn a chynhwysol.

Prosiect Olyniaeth a Chonsortia

Ariannir prosiect Olyniaeth a Chonsortia Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru gan Lywodraeth Cymru a Chronfa Datblygu Rhanbarthol Ewrop. Mae’n cynnig cefnogaeth i berchnogion busnes a gweithwyr sy’n ystyried perchnogaeth gweithwyr a chreu mentrau cydweithredol y gweithwyr. Mae hefyd yn cynnig cefnogaeth i fusnesau sy’n gweithio ar gydweithio i ffurfio consortia cydweithredol.


Winning Public Sector Work is Key for Third Sector Sustainability

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Rhian Edwards

Today the Wales Co-operative Centre supported the WCVA in hosting a mini-conference for the third sector on How to Win Tenders. Here, Rhian Edwards, Project Manager for Business Succession and Consortia, looks at the importance of public sector contracts for the Third Sector.

“The public sector in Wales spends around £4.3bn each year through procurement, and winning business with the public sector is crucial for the financial sustainability of many third sector organisations in Wales. Many actually have long standing relationships with these public sector bodies, and have been delivering valued services under grant arrangements, service level agreements, and spot contracts for many years.

“The shift now however to a more competitive tendering environment has been a hard transition for many of these organisations. Contracts are being wrapped up into bigger, more complex lots, and the move towards move collaborative and regionalised tendering is making access to opportunities even harder. Smaller third sector organisations particularly are feeling the strain, feeling very alienated from these opportunities.

“The event today offered practical advice and guidance on how best to win work with public sector bodies. Attendees heard what public sector buyers look for in tenders, had a procurement policy update from Value Wales, and heard the experiences of third sector organisations that have been successful and unsuccessful in winning public sector work. There was also a range of workshops available looking at key issues such as collaborating to win work, effective pitch presentation and contract management.

“Public sector bodies are increasingly looking to engage with the third sector in the delivery of innovative, citizen centred services. However, many third sector organisations feel the procurement processes used by these bodies is a major barrier to them winning this work. The Wales Co-operative Centre and WCVA are working closely with both the supply and the buy side to help overcome these challenges. In October 2013, we jointly launched the Joint Bidding Guide, in partnership with the Welsh Government. The Guide, endorsed by the Minister for Finance, is a toolkit designed to help anyone involved in the bidding cycle for public contracts, whether as a buyer or a potential supplier. The Guide supports the work of the Centre’s Consortia Development Team, who work directly with organisations to help form consortia to bid for work.

“Together with WCVA, we feel this on-going work, supported by events like today’s, will go some way to strengthening the tendering skills and capacity of the third sector and improve their win rate.”


Rhian Edwards

Project Manager, Business Succession and Consortia

Written by cathewalescoop

March 26, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Jocelle’s sell out session returns to TAI

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The Wales Co-operative Centre’s Jocelle Lovell returns to the TAI housing conference today following last year’s sell out workshop. She will update the audience at Cardiff City Hall on the work of the Financial Inclusion team to help tenants stay in their homes.

Jocelle is Project Manager of the ‘Tackling Homelessness Through Financial Inclusion’ (THFI) project. The scheme was set up in 2012 and aims to promote the use of Credit Union Rent Accounts to reduce financial vulnerability. The initiative is supported by the Oak Foundation and the Welsh Government.

Jocelle and her colleagues support vulnerable tenants in private rented accommodation by facilitating better money management and preparing people for changes to Welfare Reform. They work in collaboration with local authorities, credit unions, private landlords and their tenants and in particular promote the use of the credit union rent accounts as an alternative to direct payment to landlords. However, the service is personalised to meet each tenants needs.

Welfare Reform and the introduction of Universal Credit have reduced household income for many families. Many of these households are facing significant new challenges around financial management and budgeting, in the context of reduced advice and information services.

Today Jocelle will be reviewing events of the past 12 months, sharing some of the key findings and lessons learned from the THFI project, along with offering some suggestions as to how we can work more effectively. She will discuss the need for us to challenge ourselves and our organisations so we can support some of our most vulnerable citizens as they face these challenges.

Jocelle’s workshop is at 10:30AM today, Wednesday.


Chartered Institute of Housing AwardS 2013 finalist logo

Written by ieuannash

March 26, 2014 at 8:40 am

Posted in co-operatives

Dave to take a ‘Can Do’ approach to co-operative housing at TAI 2014

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Dave Palmer, Co-operative Housing Project Manager at the Wales Co-operative Centre is preparing to take to the stand at this year’s TAI Conference. He’ll be one of the speakers at the event’s ‘Can Do’ Corner, which is part of the wider exhibition area at the event, which is being held at Cardiff City Hall.

We’ve been given a sneak preview of Dave’s presentation and, as well as talking about how the Centre develops sustainable businesses and strong, inclusive communities by working co-operatively, he’ll be shedding light on how housing is the latest sector in Wales to benefit from this approach.

Co-operative housing is about communities having democratic control over decision-making about their homes, neighbourhoods and communities.

There are many different forms of co-operative housing, which could apply to all forms of housing tenure (i.e. home ownership, shared ownership or rented housing – either at market or affordable rents) and a mixture of tenures. All forms of co-operative housing are “not for profit” i.e. they do not distribute profit to individuals, and they recycle any “surpluses” made on budgets for the good of the local community.

Ely Farm Garden Village plans

Ely Farm Garden Village plans

The Welsh Government Housing White Paper gave a commitment to deliver 500 new homes through co-operative housing, as part of action to achieve its affordable housing target by June 2016. There are currently 3 pioneer projects in Wales, that the Wales Co-operative Centre is supporting the development of:-

Newport – 20 co-operative Shared Ownership houses at the former Pirelli Works (Loftus Gardens), being planned with Seren Group.

Cardiff – 41 Co-operative Social Rent Homes being planned with Cadwyn Housing Association.

Carmarthenshire – 27 Co-operative Intermediate Rent Houses being planned with Gwalia Group.

Land at Carreg Y Fedwen, Gwynedd

Land at Carreg Y Fedwen, Gwynedd

There are a further 17 potential co-operative housing schemes being considered in Wales and delegates to TAI 2014 will be encouraged to start schemes of their own, to help increase delivery in this area.

Dave Palmer is due to speak from the Can Do Corner, at the TAI Conference at 12.25pm on Wednesday 26th March.

For more information on co-operative housing, please visit the Wales Co-operative Centre website

Written by MarkWalesCooperative

March 25, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Egni Co-operative Share Offer – co-operative energy generation in the community

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Egni Co-operative Share Offer - co-operative energy generation in the community

Egni Co-operative was established by Awel Aman Tawe, a community renewable energy charity in South Wales, with the purpose of placing Solar PV panels on community buildings. To raise the necessary funds, Egni launched a share offer in the Senedd on February 6th which has raised £55,000 since its launch. The share offer runs until April 3rd.

In this guest blog, Dan McCallum from Egni explains more:

“At Awel Aman Tawe we work to raise awareness of clean, renewable, sustainable energy sources, and promote their use throughout the local community.

It’s the sort of project we all want to see – solar panels on key local community buildings. We surveyed about 35 buildings in total and chose the best ones for the project. There are 7 community buildings making up the project, and we’re seeking to fund the capital costs from a co-operative share offer.

Some of these buildings are well known social enterprises. Dove Workshop in Banwen and Glynneath Training Centre both offer training, community cafes, a crèche and a local hub. Perhaps less well known is Brynaman Public Hall and Institute – funded by the miners in the 1920s, run by volunteers, and now housing the largest cinema screen in Wales, alongside the most fantastic Art Deco interior.

All the buildings will benefit from free electricity from the panels, which will also save more than 1000 tonnes of CO2 over the project lifetime.

So why have we formed as a co-operative? There are several reasons. There has been a great increase in energy co-ops in England and Scotland which we’ve been able to learn from. That has been because public grants cannot pay for panels as it would disqualify the scheme from the Feed-in Tariff(FiT) . Co-operatives which raise money from the general public can benefit from the FiT, as the money generated from them comes back into the co-operative for the benefit of the members.

Setting up as a co-operative also means Egni will be run on a one member, one vote basis, This gives everyone who invests in the project an equal say in how it is managed, no matter how much they initially put in. Also, co-operatives, unlike charities, were able to pre-register for the FiT and have the rate maintained for a year. Egni took advantage of this by registering all the sites in June 2013 which means that we can take advantage of the higher rates that were available at that time.

We also want people in Wales to make more use of Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme. More details can be found on the HMRC website Last week, we had the great news that our application for pre-registration for SEIS has been approved by HMRC. Tax relief is not just for the wealthy – it is likely to apply to many share applicants who are taxpayers. In short, your investment may significantly reduce your income tax bill. Here’s how it can work:

In this example, Jenny is a qualifying taxpayer who invests £1,000 in SEIS qualifying shares. The SEIS relief available is £500 (£1,000 at 50%). If her income tax liability for the year (before SEIS relief) was, for example, £4,000, she could reduce it to £3,500 as a result of her investment.

This is your chance to invest in something Welsh, sustainable and democratic. Egni is about bringing local communities together, to invest in green technology that will bring great benefits to those communities for years to come. If you’d like to play a part in that, then you can download our Share Offer Document and application form at

Dan McCallum, Director of Egni Cydweithredol Cyfyngedig Ltd

Egni is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority as an Industrial and Provident Society, Registration Number 32008R.

For more information on Egni, visit, or phone 01639 830870.

Cyfleoedd ar gyfer Gofal Cymdeithasol cydweithredol #walescoopreport

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Ceri-Anne Fidler o Ganolfan Cydweithredol Cymru sy’n archwilio achos Comisiwn Cwmnïau Cydweithredol a Chydfuddiannol Cymru dros gynyddu rôl cwmnïau cydweithredol gofal cymdeithasol o ran darparu gwasanaethau gofal.

Mae Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru yn cefnogi canfyddiad Comisiwn Cwmnïau Cydweithredol a Chydfuddiannol Cymru bod achos cryf dros gynyddu rôl cwmnïau cydweithredol gofal cymdeithasol oherwydd y gwerth ychwanegol y gallant ei gynnig. Yn ein profiad ni, mae cwmnïau cydweithredol yn cynnig gwasanaethau gofal cymdeithasol o safon uchel sy’n seiliedig ar werth. Maent yn darparu gwasanaethau ymatebol sy’n cael eu cyfarwyddo gan ddinasyddion sy’n rhoi llais cryfach a rhagor o reolaeth i ddefnyddwyr gwasanaethau a gofalwyr. Yn olaf, maent wedi’u hangori yn eu cymunedau ac mae buddsoddiad gan y sector cyhoeddus mewn cwmnïau cydweithredol yn aros yn y gymuned ac yn cael ei ailgylchu er budd economaidd a chymdeithasol ehangach. Gallwch ddarllen rhagor am hyn yn ein hymateb i’r ymgynghoriad ynghylch Bil Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol a Llesiant (Cymru).

Mae cwmnïau cydweithredol sefydliedig sy’n gweithio yn y sector yn dangos manteision gwirioneddol a gwerth ychwanegol dull cydweithredol o ddarparu gofal cymdeithasol. Er enghraifft, mae Foster Care Co-operative yn gofalu am 160 o blant o 55 awdurdod lleol, gan gynnwys Cymru. Mae’n ail-fuddsoddi elw i ddarparu rhagor o gymorth a hyfforddiant gofal maeth. Mae’n darparu lefel uchel o gymorth i ofalwyr maeth yn y gred bod hyn yn cynorthwyo hirhoedledd a sefydlogrwydd lleoliadau, gan gynnwys cyfarfodydd grwpiau cymorth bob chwe wythnos.

Rydym hefyd yn rhannu safbwynt y Comisiwn y gallai Bil Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol a Llesiant (Cymru) fod yn gatalydd pellach i dwf. Mae’r Bilyn gosod dyletswydd ar awdurdodau lleol i hyrwyddo mentrau cymdeithasol, cwmnïau cydweithredol, gwasanaethau sy’n cael eu harwain gan ddefnyddwyr a’r trydydd sector wrth ddarparu gwasanaethau gofal a chymorth. Mae Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru wedi bod yn gweithio ar brosiect ar y cyd â Chwmnïau Cymdeithasol CymruChwmnïau Cymdeithasol Cymru sy’n canolbwyntio ar y ddyletswydd hon i hyrwyddo. Mae tîm y prosiect wedi ysgrifennu adroddiad sy’n cynnwys Cyngor i Lywodraeth Cymru ynglŷn â pha gamau sy’n angenrheidiol i sicrhau bod gofynion y Bil yn cael eu trosi’n gamau gweithredu ar lawr gwlad. Mae’r adroddiad yn seiliedig ar gyfweliadau ymchwil ag awdurdodau lleol, cwmnïau cydweithredol, mentrau cymdeithasol, arianwyr, rheoleiddwyr a defnyddwyr gwasanaethau a’u sefydliadau cynrychiadol. Buom hefyd yn cynnal cyfres o seminarau ac ymweliadau astudio â mentrau cymdeithasol i godi ymwybyddiaeth a dwysau’r ddealltwriaeth ymhlith staff awdurdodau lleol.

Roedd ein canfyddiadau wedi datgelu cymorth aruthrol ar gyfer y ddyletswydd i hyrwyddo, ac roedd llawer o randdeiliaid o’r farn y bydd yn rhoi grym i ddefnyddwyr gwasanaethau a’u gosod wrth wraidd dylunio a darparu gwasanaethau. Er hynny, mae ein hymchwil hefyd wedi dangos pryderon ynghylch rhwystrau posibl tuag at weithredu’r ddyletswydd. Clywsom bryderon bod angen newid diwylliannol ac angen dweud wrth gynrychiolwyr llywodraeth leol am y dull cydweithredol a’r manteision y gallai gynnig. Mae hyn yn adlewyrchu casgliad y Comisiwn bod angen newid sylweddol o ran diwylliant ac arweiniad cryf er mwyn gwireddu potensial y Bil. Bydd y grŵp prosiect yn parhau i weithio gydag awdurdodau lleol i godi’u hymwybyddiaeth o’r dull cydweithredol. Yn ystod ail gam y prosiect, rydym yn bwriadu gweithio gyda phrosiectau peilot a byddwn yn darparu rhagor o gymorth dwys i gefnogi awdurdodau lleol â hyn.

Mae’r Bil hefyd yn amlinellu’r fframwaith a allai roi caniatâd i awdurdodau lleol neu osod gofyniad arnynt i wneud taliadau uniongyrchol i unigolyn tuag at y gost o fodloni anghenion gofal a chymorth. Rydym o’r farn bod gan hyn hefyd y potensial i wneud newid sylweddol a fyddai’n rhoi grym i ddefnyddwyr gwasanaethau. Mae hyn yn cael ei arddangos gan ein hymchwil i gydweithredu a chwmnïau cydweithredol o ran datblygu cynlluniau taliadau uniongyrchol yng Nghymru. Mae hyn yn cael ei arddangos gan ein hymchwil i gydweithredu a chwmnïau cydweithredol o ran datblygu cynlluniau taliadau uniongyrchol yng Nghymru. Trwy ffurfio cwmnïau cydweithredol a chronni eu taliadau uniongyrchol, gall defnyddwyr gwasanaethau weithredu mwy o ddewis a phŵer prynu. Mae ein hadroddiad yn darparu astudiaethau achos pwerus sy’n arddangos manteision y dull hwn ar gyfer defnyddwyr gwasanaethau.

Yn gyffredinol, rydym o’r farn y gall cwmnïau cydweithredol a dulliau cydweithredol fod yn ganolog i’r newidiadau sy’n gosod defnyddwyr gwasanaethau wrth wraidd dylunio a darparu gwasanaethau. Rydym yn cytuno â’r Comisiwn bod y Bil Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol a Llesiant yn cynnig cyfle unigryw i Gymru.

Written by davemadgecoop

February 28, 2014 at 3:26 pm

#walescoopreport Opportunities for Co-operative Social Care

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Ceri-Anne Fidler of the Wales Co-operative Centre examines the Welsh Co-operative and Mutuals Commission’s case for an increased role for social care co-operatives in care service delivery.

The Wales Co-operative Centre supports the Welsh Co-operative and Mutuals Commission’s finding that there is a compelling case for a greater role for social care co-operatives because of the added value they can bring. In our experience, co-operatives offer high quality social care services that are value-based. They provide responsive services that are citizen directed giving a stronger voice and greater control to service users and carers. Finally, they are anchored in their communities and investment by the public sector in co-operatives stays in the community and is recycled for wider economic and social benefits. You can read more about this in our response to the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill consultation.

Established co-operatives working in the sector demonstrate the real benefits and added value of a co-operative approach to social care. For example, the Foster Care Co-operative cares for 160 children from 55 local authorities, including in Wales. They reinvest profit to provide more foster care support and training. They provide a high level of support to foster carers in the belief that this aids the longevity and stability of placements, including support group meetings every six weeks.

We also share the Commission’s view that the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill could be a further catalyst for growth. The Bill places a duty on local authorities to promote social enterprises, co-operatives, user-led services and the third sector in the provision of care and support services. The Wales Co-operative Centre has been working on a joint project with Social Firms Wales focusing on this duty to promote. The project team has written a report with advice for Welsh Government about what actions are necessary to ensure that the Bill’s requirements are translated into action on the ground. The report is based on research interviews with local authorities, co-operatives, social enterprises, funders, regulators and service users and their representative organisations. We also held a series of seminars and study visits to social enterprises to raise awareness and deepen the understanding amongst local authority staff.

Our findings revealed overwhelming support for the duty to promote, with many stakeholders believing that it will empower service users and place them at the centre of service design and delivery. Yet, our research has also shown concern over potential barriers to implementing the duty. We heard concerns that there needed to be cultural shift and a need to inform local government representatives on the co-operative approach and the benefits it may bring. This mirrors the Commission’s conclusion that there needs to be a significant shift in culture and strong leadership for the potential of the Bill to be realised. The project group will continue to work with local authorities to raise their awareness of the co-operative approach. In the second stage of the project, we plan to work with pilot projects and will provide more intensive support to pilot local authorities.

The Bill also outlines the framework within which local authorities may be allowed or required to make direct payments to a person towards the cost of meeting needs for care and support. We believe that this also has the potential for a step-change that would empower service users. This is demonstrated by our research into co-operation and co-operatives in the development of direct payment schemes in Wales. By forming co-operatives and pooling their direct payments, service users can exert greater choice and purchaser power. Our report provides powerful case-studies that demonstrate the advantages of this approach for service users.

Overall, we believe that co-operatives and co-operative approaches can be central to changes that place service users at the centre of service delivery and design. We agree with the Commission that the Social Services and Well-being Bill offers a unique opportunity for Wales.

#walescoopreport Datblygu Cynaliadwy: Dull Cydweithredol

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Matthew Close o Ganolfan Cydweithredol Cymru sy’n archwilio argymhelliad
Comisiwn Cwmnïau Cydweithredol a Chydfuddiannol Cymru bod egwyddorion
cydweithredol a chydfuddiannol yn cael eu cynnwys yn y broses ddeddfwriaethol
yng Nghymru.

Mae lansiad adroddiad Comisiwn Cwmnïau Cydweithredol a
Chydfuddiannol Cymru yn cynnig llawer o gyfleoedd i’r sector cydweithredol yng
Nghymru. Yr hyn sy’n ddiddorol iawn yw’r argymhelliad ar gyfer ystyried modelau
busnes cydweithredol a chydfuddiannol yn holl bolisïau a chynlluniau newydd y
Llywodraeth, yn rhan o ymrwymiad gorfodol Llywodraeth Cymru i wneud Datblygu
Cynaliadwy yn brif egwyddor drefniadol yn ei rhaglen ddeddfwriaethol.

Mae Deddf Llywodraeth Cymru 2006 yn ei gwneud yn orfodol i Lywodraeth Cymru
osod cynllun ar gyfer hyrwyddo Datblygu Cynaliadwy wrth weithredu ei
swyddogaethau, ac aeth ati gyflawni hyn ar ffurf Cymru’n Un, Cenedl Un Blaned. Mae’r ddogfen hon yn diffinio Datblygu
Cynaliadwy fel a ganlyn:

  “gwella lles economaidd,
cymdeithasol ac amgylcheddol pobl a chymunedau, gan sicrhau ansawdd bywyd gwell
i’n cenhedlaeth ni a chenedlaethau’r dyfodol.” [i]

Un o brif bwyntiau ffocws y Cynllun yw sicrhau economi gynaliadwy sy’n
hydwyth i effeithiau negyddol newidiadau economaidd byd eang ac sy’n cefnogi
twf busnes cynaliadwy. Mae busnesau a sefydlwyd trwy fodelau cydweithredol a
chydfuddiannol wedi dangos eu bod yn fwy hydwyth i newidiadau economaidd
niweidiol. Ar hyn o bryd mae 446 o sefydliadau cydweithredol yn gweithredu yng
nghalon cymunedau ledled Cymru, sy’n eiddo i’r bobl yn y cymunedau hynny ac yn
cael eu gweithredu ganddynt, ac sy’n cyfrannu gwerth £1.54 biliwn o drosiant
blynyddol i economi Cymru.[ii]  O fusnesau
bach fel  That Useful Company a
Barod, i gwmnïau mwy megis Dulas a’r cymdeithasu tai cydfuddiannol newydd,
mae busnesau cydweithredol a chydfuddiannol yng Nghymru yn enghreifftiau da o
gwmnïau sy’n gallu cefnogi’r weledigaeth o economi gynaliadwy a nodir yng Nghynllun
Datblygu Cynaliadwy Llywodraeth Cymru.

Pwynt ffocws arall Cymru’n Un, Cenedl
Un Blaned
yw’r ymdrech i sicrhau bod gan Gymru gymdeithas gref, iach a
chynhwysol. Mae mynediad i dai o safon mewn marchnad dai amrywiol yn cael ei
nodi yn y Cynllun fel dangosydd allweddol ar gyfer cymdeithas gynaliadwy. Mae
modelau cydweithredol a chydfuddiannol eisoes yn chwarae rôl allweddol yn y
maes hwn. Mae cwmnïau cydfuddiannol  tai cymunedol
megis RCT Homes  wedi’u strwythuro yn y fath fodd er mwyn galluogi
eu tenantiaid i bob pwrpas ddod yn rhanddeiliaid,  a rhoi llais iddynt o ran y modd y mae’r
sefydliad yn cael ei redeg a’i weithredu.

Mae ein hymchwil diweddar hefyd wedi
dangos bod galw am fodelau tai cydweithredol yng Nghymru, sy’n cynnig y cyfle i
bobl ddatblygu cymunedau cryf, cynhwysol ac ar yr un pryd darparu dewis hyfyw
arall yn lle opsiynau prif ffrwd y farchnad dai, y mae mwy a mwy o bobl yn cael
anhawster cael mynediad iddi. Mae ein Prosiect Tai Cydweithredol yn darparu
cymorth i sefydliadau sy’n archwilio’r potensial o ddatblygu prosiectau tai
cydweithredol ledled Cymru neu sydd wrthi’n gwneud hynny.

Mae egwyddorion
cydweithredol yn amlwg mewn sawl rhan arall o Gymru. Mae llawer o drefi a
phentrefi yn elwa ar fusnesau cydweithredol cymunedol, sy’n fusnesau a
sefydlwyd i ddarparu gwasanaethau i’w hardal benodol nhw. Gall y rhain amrywio
o siopau a thafarndai cymunedol megis Siop y Bobl a Saith Seren, i
sefydliadau chwaraeon megis Ymddiriedolaeth Cefnogwyr Wrecsam.  Mae
cynlluniau cyfranddaliadau cymunedol yn enghraifft arall o werthoedd a modelau cydweithredol
ar waith, oherwydd maent yn galluogi grwpiau a sefydliadau i dynnu cyfalaf o’r
union gymunedau y mae eu mentrau yn ceisio bod o fudd iddynt. O adfywio
cymunedol i gynlluniau pŵer amgylcheddol megis ffermydd gwynt cymunedol a
gweithfeydd hydro-electrig, maent yn cynnig cyfle i’r sefydliadau hyn ffynnu
gan sicrhau datblygu cynaliadwy gwirioneddol.

Mae’r enghreifftiau hyn yn dangos bod modelau busnes cydweithredol a chydfuddiannol
yn gallu cynyddu’n fawr y debygoliaeth o gynhyrchu economi a chymdeithas
gynaliadwy yng Nghymru. Rydym o’r farn y gallai’r argymhelliad hwn roi lle
blaenllaw i gydweithredu yn ein proses ddeddfwriaethol, ac mae’n cynnig cyfle
unigryw i Lywodraeth Cymru gynnwys egwyddorion ac ethos cydweithredu wrth
wraidd y tirlun gwleidyddol yng Nghymru.

[i] Cymru’n
Un: Cenedl Un Blaned: Cynllun Datblygu Cynaliadwy Llywodraeth Cymru.
Llywodraeth Cymru, 2009, tud.8

[ii] Cynhenid: Yr Economi Gydweithredol yng Nghymru
2013. Cyhoeddwyd gan Co-operatives UK a Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru.

Written by davemadgecoop

February 26, 2014 at 9:39 am


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