Jowell criticises Maude's 'modest and unambitious' Pathfinders scheme

Plan to run public sector projects as mutuals will fail without government funding, says Cabinet office shadow minister

Tessa Jowell, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, has described the government’s new Pathfinders scheme, under which public service projects will be run as mutuals by public sector staff, as "modest and unambitious".

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude announced details last week of 12 public sector projects that would be delivered by groups of public service employees working directly with other local groups.

Jowell told Third Sector the idea was unlikely to translate into action unless government funding was provided to support the mutuals. "We support the expansion of mutuals in public services, but these proposals seem rather modest and unambitious," she said. "In the absence of any significant resources on offer, it is highly unlikely that this will get off the ground."

She added that Labour’s plans to create mutual providers to run Sure Start children’s centres "seemed to have been quietly dropped" by the coalition government.

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