Archive for February, 2010

Power to public sector workers

The latest policy announcement from the Tories sounds, at first, quite radical.  They are suggesting that public service workers can break away to form not-for-profit social enterprises.  This will allow them freedom from the dead hand of state (particularly local government) bureaucracies, to innovate and to better serve their clients/customers.  When questioned further about the detail and where the fundding would come from, George Osborne suggested that these new co-operatives would work to contracts specifying services and standards in exchange for funds.  So where is the freedom?  Ask anyone in the charitable/voluntary/community sector about the flexibilities these contracts allow and their answer will be a short one.

Resolve these issues of funding, control and accountability, and the idea looks more radical.  Alas, these are the same issues central government has been trying to resolve for the past forty years.  So where are the big ideas here?  The nearest we have is from Demos, but all seems to have gone quiet on that front (see: