Newcastle Council to be in vanguard of public services reform, including using mutuals?

By David Bicknell

There is an interesting piece in the Guardian’s Society pages today about the ambitions of Newcastle Council in pushing through public services reform.

Peter Hetherington’s article  says that Nick Forbes, the new Labour leader in Newcastle has two problems to grapple with: budget cuts this year of £45m, and reinvigorating the existing management regime.

Forbes is quoted as saying that one of the big challenges is to reinvent the concept of public services in the 21st century in a way that matches Labour’s values of equality and fairness and co-operation. “There’s the opportunity to capitalise on what the government is saying around mutuals and workers’ co-operatives and develop genuinely new models that give service users and staff a stronger ‘say’ but also protect essential public services from the destructive forces of market competition.”

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