Tessa Jowell: we are entering a “mutual moment” in history

In a recent speech to the Progress group, Tessa Jowell, Minister for the Cabinet Office, has said that as a result of the financial crisis and the implosion of public trust following the MPs’ expenses scandal we are entering a period when new forms of mutual ownership will come into their own as a preferred model for public service ownership and delivery.

Her speech is reported at length in The Guardian, on eGov Monitor, and in GuardianSociety.

A new era of mutualisation is also amongst the plans set out in the recent action plan for government reform and cost-cutting, Putting the Frontline First: Smarter Government, previously reported on our blog here.

In her speech Jowell said, “By bringing users, employees, and others together as mutual members of the provider organisation we can successfully get to grips with the supply side of public service.”

She also announced the setting up of a new independent Commission on Ownership, to be chaired by economist/writer Will Hutton.

Jowell is also expected to ask Ed Balls, Andy Burnham and John Healey to look at their respective portfolios for ways to extend mutualism in Sure Start, social care and housing.

There have been some very interesting letters to the Guardian on the subject.

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