The model of public services that are delivered by mutual enterprises with a strong staff has moved from idea into practice over recent years.
I met with Anthony Collins Solicitors this week, hearing about their work with partners on co-operative models in probation.
According to new statistics from the Cabinet Office, reporting in a one-year progress check after the end of the Mutuals Task Force (which I participated in):
· 32 leading public service mutuals have recorded annual revenues of around £650 million, and this is projected to rise to more than £700 million next year. Given that the Cabinet Office is tracking over 70 live mutuals, the total revenue of all is likely to be over £1 billion.
· Those mutuals that have spun out since 2010 have increased the number of contracts they hold (by just under a third), a good sign of business skills.
· The mutuals that have launched since 2010 report that they have also made over £21 million of savings.
· When staff feel more engaged, they are likely to stay longer with the organisation and miss fewer days of work. This is reflected in the latest survey data showing lower churn and absenteeism, which, say the Cabinet Office, has fallen on average by 16% and 20% respectively.
With public service policy a hot topic, all this is now enough to count.