Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has called on sacked public sector workers to group together to run services as co-operatives and stressed that involvement in such schemes is in fact more rewarding.
The Conservative MP for Horsham suggested that co-op initiatives in areas such as social services and childcare could bring benefits for both the individuals involved and the taxpayer.
"They feel so much more involved. Their jobs become so much more rewarding and it's delivering better value," he explained. "We need to use common sense, obviously, but there are huge benefits here."
Mr Maude acknowledged that there are "exceptions" – such as army regiments – where the co-op model would be inappropriate, but he did suggest that more government bodies could be mutualised over the coming years.
However, Sutton and Merton's executive head of human resources recently warned that plans to share services between local authorities is likely to be beset with administrative problems.
Posted by Ross George