By David Bicknell
A new international review being presented to government by Jonathan Bland, an international expert on co-operatives and social enterprise, has suggested that the UK is not yet equipped to turn public services into mutuals.
The review, Time to Get Serious: International Lessons for Developing Public Service Mutuals, commissioned by Co-operatives UK, the trade association for co-operative enterprises, highlights how the UK must learn from the experiences of Spain, Italy and Sweden, where public service co-operatives are flourishing because government creates a supportive environment and provides workers with appropriate business support and knowledge.
“The international review shows that in all three countries, the growth of public service co-operatives has been closely linked to enabling legal and fiscal frameworks, with sector-led support structures that are able to provide specialist advice and share learning,” says Bland.
The report is available here from the Co-Operatives UK site.