Coalition Appoints Former Blair Advisor Julian Le Grand To Develop Mutuals In the Public Sector

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 08:31 GMT Jump to Comments

The former Tony Blair advisor Professor Julian Le Grand has been appointed to drive the coalition government's mutualisation of public services agenda, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has announced.

The academic from the London School of Economics would be heading a task force to help public sector workers create mutuals like the John Lewis Partnership to deliver public services.

"Public sector professionals have been held back by the limitations of top-down control, their commitment to serving people has been ignored in favour of targets and regimented structures," Francis Maude said as he announced the appointment at Swindon Intermediate Care Centre. Employees at this centre would one of the first groups of mutuals that would take over public service delivery responsibilities from April this year.

Mr. Maude said that the appointment of the task force led by Professor Le Grand "will iinject real momentum this agenda," which has received huge interest from public sector employees. A key part of the task force's remit would be to support "front line staff who can see how to do things better."

The Minister told the Guardian that old ways of delivering public services through a "monolithic public sector" is over. "There's a much wider consensus around mutuals," he said. ""In coalition, you have commitment; in big parts of the Labour party there is support for this approach as well, though it never gathered much momentum in the Blair years. I'm delighted we're able to give it a real push."

On his appointment, Le Grande said: ""I have long advocated the development of employee-owned mutuals and professional partnerships as a way of improving public services, and am delighted to be part of the process of driving these exciting ideas further across Whitehall and beyond."

Critics argue that this mutuals agenda is about privatisation of public services through the back door. Tessa Jowell accused the coalition government of failing to understand mutuals.

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