Support for Fledgling Mutuals
Money and support announced by the Cabinet Office for new and developng mutuals
Cabinet Office launches Ambassadors programme to support fledgling mutuals
Fledgling and existing mutuals will be given a vital helping hand from 15 inspiring individuals, Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude announced at the SOLACE Summit 2012. These leaders in their fields, part of the Mutuals Ambassadors Programme, will work free of charge to drive forward the public service mutuals movement.
Each Ambassador will work closely on the ground to deliver specific advice and support to emerging and existing mutuals. This will include troubleshooting specific concerns, sharing their commercial expertise, promoting public service mutuals and identifying upcoming new projects.
The Government has selected people from a wide variety of organisations, including local authorities, mutuals, professional services and business firms, to deliver effective support. All the individuals are leaders in their fields and at Chief Executive Officer or Director Level. Ambassadors include Andrew Burnell, CEO of City Healthcare Partnership, a public service mutual with 1,400 staff and a turnover of around £52 million; and Patrick Lewis, Managing Director of Partnership Services, of the John Lewis Partnership.
In response to feedback from commissioners, today also sees the re-launch of the Mutuals Information Service, a dedicated website for anyone interested in setting up or finding out more about public service mutuals. Commissioners have told us that they benefit from learning about the experiences of other mutuals that have already been through the process. As a result, a new interactive hub has been developed where commissioners can access case studies, ask questions on chat forums and read advice and guidance especially for commissioners.
About £1 billion of public services are provided by mutuals. Evidence suggests that public service mutuals can boost productivity by up to 45% by removing bureaucratic systems and wasteful processes. John Lewis, one of Britain’s best known mutuals, continually tops customer satisfaction polls and has half the average staff turnover and sickness absence of the retail sector. The Government is supporting public servants who want to form mutuals with a £10million Mutuals Support Programme and Mutuals Information Service, hotline 0845 5390543.