Universal free school meals in primary schools across Wales and new measures to help people to live in their local communities are among some of the commitments delivered in the first year of the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.
The first annual report about progress under the Co-operation Agreement is published today, a year after the deal was signed.
Working together, the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru have delivered on a wide range of commitments in the bespoke agreement, including:
- An extra 45,000 primary school children now have the option of a free school lunch every day. Universal free school meals started to be rolled out in September, supported by £200 million over 3 years. All primary school children and more than 6,000 nursery-age pupils attending a maintained school will be eligible for free school meals by 2024.
- Starting to expand funded, high-quality childcare to all 2-year olds in Wales.
- Introducing a new package of measures to help people live in their local communities and to address high numbers of second homes. This includes using the planning, property and taxation systems.
- Securing an independent review of reports into flooding events across Wales during the winter of 2020-21.
- Agreeing a way forward on Senedd reform.
- Establishing an expert panel to explore the creation of a Shadow Broadcasting and Communications Authority.
- Investing in the Arfor 2 programme to boost economic prosperity in Welsh-speaking communities.
- Providing free Welsh lessons for 16 to 25-year-olds from September 2022.
- Launching a public consultation about giving local authorities a discretionary power to introduce a visitor levy.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“Since we signed the Co-operation Agreement a year ago, we have made real progress on a range of our joint commitments.
“We have focused on those commitments which will help support people during this cost-of-living crisis. We will continue to work together on those areas, set out in the agreement, where we have common ground over the next 2 years.
“I look forward to continuing to make a difference for people in Wales in these difficult times.”
Leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price said:
“When launching the Co-operation Agreement a year ago today, we said it was about a different way of working – across the political lines and charting a co-operative, more positive course for Wales compared to the disarray we have seen from the UK government over this past year.
“From more children receiving free school meals in our primary schools, to taking action on second homes, to beginning to expand free childcare, we are making a difference together. We look forward to making further announcements on our commitments as we continue to work together through the Agreement.”