Tag Archives: efficiency

Mutuals: a novel means of driving down demand for public services?

By David Bicknell

A recent piece in the Guardian local government network has come up with the intriguing idea that mutuals can help drive down demand for public services.

The article, by Ross Griffiths, a partner at law firm Cobbetts,  suggests that if  as a service user, you are dealing with a provider that is your mutual, you are more likely to think twice about the demands you are making on it, and the effect that might have on the service and other users. It argues that this is the ‘Holy Grail’ of the mutual project – allowing providers to deliver services more cheaply not by making cuts, but by reducing demand.

The piece asks whether in today’s local government, where efficiency must be a big part of any changes to services, this is something that mutual structures can deliver. Or are they, as the article asks, ‘little more than a frivolity that should be saved for less straitened times?’




iESE efficiency mutual set up to help English councils save money

By David Bicknell

An improvement and efficiency local authority-owned  mutual has been set up to help England’s councils save money.

Created from the South East region’s improvement and efficiency partnership, iESE is now setting out to help councils and other local public services that are struggling to cope with the public sector financial squeeze.

Although some services will be free, the bulk of the new company’s income will be generated by fees charged to councils levied from efficiency savings. Surpluses generated will be reinvested back into iESE ‘to further improve the sector’.

Neil Blake, who is Aylesbury Vale District Council’s representative on iESE’s board, said: “Councils can no longer rely on existing ways to meet their tough savings targets. That’s why we were the first council to sign up to iESE Limited’s shared procurement service as a fresh way of helping to deliver our savings. Only by exploring new avenues like those offered by iESE Limited will councils achieve the scale of savings required.”

iESE, which works with local authorities and other public sector organisations in the South East and beyond, believes it has built knowledge and expertise in complex service areas such as Waste and Resource Management; Social Care; Procurement and Construction. It argues that rather than creating unnecessary additional bureaucracy or process, it provides a fresh perspective to challenges to release savings and improve services for citizens.

Two events in May: Mutualisation Briefing and the Trustmarque TE2011 Customer Conference

By David Bicknell

There are a number of public sector events coming up in May. Here is advance warning of a couple that the Campaign4Change has come across.

This one, by Westminster Briefing on 12th May, in Westminster, the latest in a series of briefings  all about mutual ownership models in public services,  discusses the issues for local authorities, employees and communities and has invited the head of the government’s mutuals taskforce, Julian Le Grand, to take part.

The Trustmarque TE2011 Customer Event, ‘Efficiency Through Technology’, on Friday 20th May at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London, features two keynote speakers, championer for British Business and former CBI Director-General Lord Digby Jones and author and futurologist Richard Watson.

The event will provide the first opportunity to discuss with Trustmarque and see demonstrations of some new Cloud based services it is offering, and will also feature  informative seminars,  and provide practical advice for customers. One of the highlights will be a Q&A session with Lord  Jones and a selection of Trustmarque customers, setting the scene for a discussion around some of the key issues arising from the IT industry at present.