Developing people-based public services
Public ownership does not have to mean top-down management from Whitehall or town halls. Communities must be given the right to participate in decisions that affect their lives in partnership with government.
We believe that co-operative models offer the best model for the reform of public service delivery. These provide the efficiency gains of the private sector whilst providing real democratic accountability, giving users, employees and other stakeholders a real say in how organisations are run.
This way the quality of service is not dependent on producer interests or the whims of market forces, but on frontline expertise and the needs of the people they serve. Public assets are locked into community ownership, providing further protection against privatisation and asset stripping.
Government can continue to improve public services through involving staff, users and local communities in the delivery of those services.
The Co-operative Party will campaign for:
- Make healthcare mutual – Through the greater involvement of staff, users and local communities, it has already been demonstrated that we can not only strengthen citizenship, but also build services based on the frontline experience of staff as well as the needs of the people that they serve. We will continue to campaign for all hospitals to become NHS Foundation Trusts, and for the extension of community foundation trusts and community owned social enterprises in primary care. >> Find out more about health
- Transform social care – By coming together collectively, direct payments and individual budget recipients can improve the quantity and quality of services and ensure a decent working environment for carers. We will work to ensure that there is a direct payments mutual in every local community. >> Find out more about social care
- Bring co-operative values into education – Co-operative trust schools provide everyone with a stake in a school’s success – parents, teachers and staff, local community organisations and even pupils – the opportunity to be involved in running it. >> Find out more about education
- Sure Start Mutuals – By giving communities ownership over Sure Start Children’s Centres, we can do more to help centres deliver to all those in need of their services, particularly ‘hard to reach’ groups. >> Find out more about services for young people and families
- The BBC – With huge sums of money spent annually on services, the public deserves to have more of a say in the package of programs and services that are delivered. For the BBC to become truly accountable, all TV license holders should be given a real say over how the BBC Trust is run. >> Find out more about media and broadcasting