Mutual benefit for public service providers

A one-stop shop offering advice and practical assistance to those looking to establish alternative ways of delivering public sector services was launched today by The Co-operative Group, the UK’s biggest mutual organisation.

Public Service Mutuals is a joint venture set up by the group in conjunction with Leeds-based law firm Cobbetts and consultancy firm Westminster Bridge.

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The organisation will initially help those looking to set up an enterprise to establish if the mutual approach is the correct one and, if it is, it will help with business plans, structure maps and organisational design. It will then assist with the transfer of the public service to the mutual organisation, ensure all the legal and HR requirements are met and support the enterprise throughout the first year of trading.

Peter Marks, chief executive of The Co-operative Group, said: “We have heard a great deal from all the mainstream political parties about the co-operative model delivering public sector services but up until now we’ve lacked a one-stop shop where people can get the advice and assistance necessary to turn great ideas into practical solutions. Public Service Mutuals fills that gap.”