UK Government

Cabinet Office: Tessa Jowell calls for more community ownership of public services

Press Release   •   Dec 15, 2009 12:10 GMT

“Enterprises owned by staff or communities should deliver more public services“, Tessa Jowell, Minister for the Cabinet Office will say today.

In a major speech to the think-tank Progress, Jowell will outline that after the credit crunch and the expenses scandal, people are now looking for different types of organisations that give them a greater sense of ownership and control.

She will argue that we are entering a “mutual moment”, where a new sense of community ownership is created through making greater use of mutual organisations in the provision of public services.

In response, the Minister will announce the launch of an independent Commission on Ownership, chaired by respected economist Will Hutton and funded by Co-operative Financial Services, to look at how to get more staff and community ownership into public services. She is calling on the commission to investigate creating a level playing field for mutuals to run public services and extending the right to ownership for communities.

Tessa Jowell, Minister for the Cabinet Office, will say:

"Public services are owned by the public, so the public must have the right to influence how those services are delivered. We can’t really expect citizens to take on greater responsibility for their own health, learning, and environmental impact if public services fail to give them the right to shape the ways they work."

Mutuals already run a number of public services, especially in education and social care. Other successful commercial examples of mutuals include the Co-operative Group, John Lewis, and Nationwide.

Notes to editors:

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