6. What steps he is taking to encourage co-operatives and mutuals to provide public services. (160379)
The Government are committed to supporting public service mutuals in providing public services. We know that mutuals can bring significant efficiencies that benefit not only public service users and the taxpayer, but the staff who form them. Our mutuals support programme is tracking more than 120 emerging and established public service mutuals across 13 different sectors.
I do not entirely see the connection between those two phenomena. We actively encourage groups of public sector workers to come together to form new entities that continue to deliver public services, but on a contractual basis, not a line-managed, bureaucratic basis. I am delighted to tell the hon. Gentleman that there is a lot of interest in the public sector. Many entrepreneurial leaders are looking for the opportunity to lead the service in an innovative and less-restricted way.