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The Co-operation Agreement shows that we are delivering change and hope for the future

01 Jun 2023 5 minute read
Siân Gwenllian and Cefin Campbell,

Siân Gwenllian and Cefin Campbell, Plaid Cymru’s Designated Members in the Co-operation Agreement

Today (1 June) marks exactly 18 months since Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government entered into a three-year Co-operation Agreement, which commenced in December 2021.

While cross-party working and co-operation has taken place since the start of devolution in Wales, the Co-operation Agreement is the first of its kind and spans across 46 policy areas ranging from Senedd Reform to the introduction of universal free school meals and expanding free childcare for two year olds.

At the time of launching the Co-operation Agreement, we in Plaid Cymru said that the Agreement marked a new way of doing politics – across political lines and setting a more positive course for Wales; one where we implement solutions on matters where we share common ground, while continuing to challenge and scrutinise.

Our duty as elected members to our Senedd is to make a positive difference to people’s lives and to offer solutions to the immediate and longer-term problems people in Wales face. We do this through scrutiny, through casework and helping constituents and by working together to implement solutions where possible.

We are now at the halfway point of the three-year agreement. This offers a natural opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved so far, and to look forward to what we will achieve in the next 18 months.

The policies introduced at pace through the Co-operation Agreement have made a tangible difference to thousands of families across Wales.

Free school meals

Since September 2022, over 5 million additional free school meals have been delivered to primary school children across Wales, as part of the shared commitment to deliver universal free school meals to primary school children by the end of 2024.

During a period that has seen food prices spiralling and families’ budgets stretched considerably, this policy shows how we in Wales can do things differently – ensuring that all children have a nutritious meal as part of the school day and putting children on an even footing no matter what their families’ circumstances.

The phased expansion of free childcare through the Co-operation Agreement is creating an additional 9500 childcare spaces during its present phase, focusing initially on some of our most disadvantaged communities. This will ensure that our poorest children can access the benefits and experience of high quality early years services.

We are tackling Wales’s housing crisis through radical action to address second homes through the taxation, property and planning systems.


As well as providing solutions to the problems families and communities face in the here and now, we are committed to strengthening and building the foundations of our nation.

We have one of the most underpowered legislatures in Europe. Through the Co-operation Agreement, Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government have agreed a way forward on Senedd reform. This will lay the foundations for a stronger Welsh democracy and a fairer, more representative Senedd that will look entirely different to the outdated political system at Westminster.

At a time when the Conservatives in London are actively reducing the number of representatives we will send to Westminster in the next UK election, strengthening democracy closer to home in our Senedd is vital.

These are just some of the positive, progressive changes we have agreed so far. Other key milestones reached in the first 18 months of the Co-operation Agreement include:

  • A record £214m investment in flood prevention and protection
  • Making Welsh history a mandatory part of the curriculum for Wales
  • Establishing an independent, cross-sector group to explore how Wales may reach Net Zero by 2035
  • Publishing proposals to ensure that the education system embraces Welsh as a language that belongs to all pupils in Wales, where all pupils become confident speakers by the time they leave school
  • Anti Racist Wales and LGBTQ+ action plans published to make Wales an anti racist nation and to make Wales the most LGBTQ+ friendly nation in Europe
  • An Expert Panel established to explore the creation of a Shadow Broadcasting and Communications Authority

The next period will bring many further announcements and developments on a wide range of policy areas and commitments outlined in the Agreement.

This includes an implementation plan and programme of work to support the creation of a National Care Service that is free at the point of need, establishing Ynni Cymru to expand community-owned energy generation and the publication of a white paper to include proposals for a right to adequate housing, fair rents and new approaches to making homes affordable for those on local incomes.


What the Co-Operation Agreement has allowed us to do so far is create stability and radicalism in Welsh Politics, and to allow us to implement some of the truly life changing and nation-building policies that Plaid Cymru have been championing for years.

The past 18 months has shown that when we work together, we can make a difference and offer positive change and hope at a time when people really need it.

Has it been challenging? On occasion, absolutely. But challenges are always an invitation and an opportunity to find a way forward.

Plaid Cymru is working for all of Wales, dros bawb, and our co-operative approach is bringing a new style of politics to Wales, which we hope will benefit Wales for generations to come.

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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
10 months ago

Politicians always say how they entered into politics to make a difference, when the reality is that they want power and all that it entails I say prove it. At least the Plaid / Labour agreement shows that two parties agreeing rather the constant infighting of Westminster is more preferential and shows the benefits of devolution. Thank heaven’s to those who voted yes to devolution in 1997. The first-past-the-post voting system favoured by UK Labour & Conservatives for Westminster elections alienates those who don’t vote or support the two main unionist parties.. Devolution has meant those in Wales who vote… Read more »

Gaynor Jones
Gaynor Jones
10 months ago

Really got no time for the smugness of those who have allowed Plaid Cymru to turn into a basket case

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
10 months ago
Reply to  Gaynor Jones


Andy Williams
10 months ago
Reply to  Gaynor Jones

totally agree with you. Shame Plaid can’t see it for themselves

10 months ago
Reply to  Gaynor Jones

Pwy sy’n ffansio dechre plaid newydd te? Ne’ cymryd dros y lib dems yng Nghymru – s’bosib ma’r rhife ‘da ni? ‘Wy ‘di jocan am hwn ers blynydde. Sa’i yn rhagor.

10 months ago
Reply to  CJPh

Y Glib Dims?

Keith Parry
Keith Parry
10 months ago

Mr Campbell MS feeling very smug. His sell out to Labour has ensured Plaid Cymru will never form a government and kicked independence in to the dim and distant future.
As in Scotland you have to remove and destroy unionist parties if you want independence not prop them up in the hope of getting a few crumbs off the table in the shape of jobs in the third sector.. !999 to 2023 Plaid Cymru leadership a load of rubbish.

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