Some post-Christmas reading on mutuals

By David Bicknell

It’s a few days after the Christmas closedown and time to browse a few sites and catch up on articles written around Christmas but which possibly got missed in the festive rush.

I liked this piece from Dom Potter, director of the Transition Institute  in the latest issue of Ethos magazine.

He argues that the Public Services (Social Value) Bill currently going through Parliament may have a very real impact on those who work with or deliver public services for years to come.

“The Bill aims to reform the commissioning process undertaken by public sector commissioners to consider how they can maximise the ‘social value’ – the social, economic and environmental wellbeing – of local areas through public procurement,” he says. “The changes in the Bill, should they come into full force, will have a profound impact on the commissioning and procurement of public services in the decades ahead. The focus will shift from the bottom-line price or cost of a service towards the overall value of the outcomes delivered.”

Over the Christmas period, I caught some of the marvellous 1951 film version of Scrooge with the incomparable Alastair Sim in the title role. So with a lack of joy, Christmas spirit and misery in mind, I give you the Shadow Civil Society minister Gareth Thomas, who argues  in this piece that the government’s mutuals project is failing.

Bah, Humbug!

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