The Mutual State, co-written by New Economics Foundation director Ed Mayo and London School of Economics professor Henrietta Moore, points to a wave of experimentation, from new non-profit schools to health, housing and leisure services being run by the communities they serve. “The debate between public and private ownership is going nowhere fast” says co-author Ed Mayo. “But there is real energy and innovation in what we call social ownership, non-profit co-operative and voluntary sector models for running public services. They show how to put the public back into public services.” Examples include: recycling and community transport services, leisure facilities, and a college, the first school to convert to independent status, run by a non-profit company, which in three years has achieved students’ results twice the level of the national average. A full programme of mutualisation, the report says, would start with public services that have clearly failed. It would focus on smaller-scale organisations, such as schools or hospitals, with populations of 400-600 people.
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Mayo, Ed, and Henrietta Moore. 2001. The Mutual State: How Local Communities can run Public Services. London: New Economics Foundation. http://www.neweconomics.org/gen/z_sys_PublicationDetail.aspx?PID=77.