This research study focused on the barriers experienced by four councils when they explored the possibility of spinning out public services and/or the challenges of the spin-out process itself. The research looked at solutions that were identified and used to overcome these barriers.
Semi-structured interviews were held with eleven participants from the four councils involved in the project. The participants were senior managers or officers who had been key stakeholders in the options development or spin-out processes. This report recommends the following:
Ensure that any spin-out has a robust business case, including sufficient market demand.
Engage with all stakeholder groups regularly throughout the entire spin-out process.
Communicate regularly and clearly with other relevant departments in the council, particularly the legal, human resources and finance departments.
Be aware that service staff are taking both a professional and personal risk in spinning out.
Recognise that service staff may not have all of the business, financial and management skills to set up and run a social enterprise.
New approaches to commissioning and public service mutuals: lessons from co-operative councils
Central government and local authorities are recognising that new and more strategic approaches to commissioning are vital for ensuring the long-term sustainability of public services.
A Practitioners’ Guide to Spinning Out
This is a guide written from the practitioners’ point of view. It gives an honest, realistic and open account of what a commissioner or senior manager is likely to experience in the journey from in-house public service to spin-out mutual.
Public Service Mutuals: Spinning Out or Standing Still?
We assess how the evidence base and the policy arguments around mutualisation have evolved in recent years.
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