Public Service Mutuals
We believe the principles on which mutuals are founded have a particular resonance in the public sector where there is an underlying sense of public purpose.
All mutuals share an important common bond – they are owned by, and run for the benefit of, their current and future members. They are all about people with shared interests coming together to deliver what their members need. Members might be consumers, service users, employees or stakeholders from the whole community.
Mutuals take many forms and do many different things, but the most well-known are co-operatives, building societies, friendly societies and mutual insurers. However, there are many more - from credit unions and community-based mutuals to housing associations and football supporter trusts.
The co-operative itself is of course a co-op, and it is a direct descendant of the revolution that began in 1844 when a group of everyday people got together and formed a new kind of retail business – one that was owned by its customers, operated in their interests and run democratically.
We want to help you explore whether the mutual way is the best way for you.
We believe the principles upon which mutuals are founded have a particular resonance in the public sector where there is an underlying sense of public purpose. Unlike private ownership which tends to be for the financial benefit of the few, mutual ownership is shared amongst stakeholders and is therefore more fitting for the delivery of a public purpose.
Significant parts of the UK's public sector are now in forms of co-operative or mutual ownership, the highest profile examples being NHS foundation trusts and co-operative schools.
Across the political spectrum mutual organisations are now seen as a legitimate alternative to privatisation and we want to help you determine whether the mutual way is the right way for you.