Papers for 1st July 2013 - evidence, John Restakis' previous visit

Below are notes from John Restakis' previous visit, plus Evidence submitted by the Welsh Progressive Co-operators to the Welsh Co-operative and Mutuals Commission

John Restakis’s visit to Wales: Key Points June 2012

1.  John welcomed the emphasis placed in the forthcoming Social Services Bill on the need for services to be user-centred and user-directed, the need to increase service users’ access to information and the need for early intervention.

2.  John argued that to put this vision into practice it is necessary to ensure that users participate as equals in the governance of the body providing services and that this can best be achieved in a co-operative model.  This equalises access to information on finances, performance statistics, quality standards, development priorities etc. and also provides service users with a social network based on reciprocity which enhances their social capital and sense of well-being. READ MORE

Evidence to the Welsh Co-operative and Mutuals Commission  ‘Voice, Choice and Control for Older People – a Co-operative Future’  submission by Welsh Progressive Co-operators

You can comment below each paragraph and the Appendices and any questions before the event will be considered for discussion.

6 If so, where did you go for information and support and did you receive appropriate advice?

6 If so, where did you go for information and support and did you   receive appropriate advice?

We received appropriate advice from:

·         Two international co-op experts Jean-Pierre Girard from Quebec and John Restakis, Executive Director of the British Columbia Co-operative Association

·         A social co-operative workshop organised by the Welsh Progressive Co-operators at the Co-ops United Expo event in October 2012

·         Laurie Gregory, chair of the Foster Care Co-operative, and Mick Taylor of Mutual Advantage have been assiduous in their support from 2009, and other UK colleagues

·         The Leader, Cabinet members and elected members of Newport City Council and the Director of Social Services and commissioning staff

·         The Health and Social and Wellbeing Facilitator, Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations (Newport)

We are awaiting a response from:

·         Last week an application was made to the Co-operative Groups Enterprise Hub for specialist consultancy

·         Two well-established employee-owned companies in this field: Stewartry Care ( and Highland Home Carers ( Co-op & Community Finance are a lender to the latter

We also received a kind offer of assistance from the Wales Co-op Centre and informal liaison takes place.

At this stage, traditional ‘business’ advice is not required, but rather help in understanding the ‘enterprise model’, human organisation, leadership development and member Co-operative education to provide the knowledge and skills that will empower the members to deliver upon their purpose.

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