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Cabinet Office Pathfinder staff mutual launches

Cabinet Office Pathfinder staff mutual launches

3BM, an innovative employee-led mutual to provide School Support Services in Hammersmith & Fulham, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council, launched on 24 April 2013.  Estimated to save £1million over four years, the mutualisation project has been supported by the Cabinet Office which designated Hammersmith & Fulham Council as a national Pathfinder in 2010 to explore new ways of delivering public services more efficiently.

Trowers & Hamlins provided specialist support to Hammersmith & Fulham Council throughout the creation of the mutual, including advice on procurement, governance, employment and the pensions implications of an employee mutual providing services directly to the Councils.  The mutual involves a highly innovative arrangement negotiated with the Department for Communities and Local Government in relation to the Local Government Pension Scheme.

Council staff in the employee-led mutual, 3BM, have joined forces with private sector company Prospects Services to provide school support services, including financial management, budget planning, IT, building development projects and strategic advice to the Tri-Borough. Itself a former public sector spin-out, Prospects is now an £80million specialist in employment, education and training.

Helen Randall, Head of Public Sector Commercial at Trowers & Hamlins and lead partner on the project, commented:  "We are proud to have worked with the Councils to develop this innovative and pioneering scheme that sets a precedent for other local authorities across the country to follow.  High-quality public services are the backbone of our communities and employee-led mutuals such as this demonstrate how those services can continue to be delivered."

The Trowers & Hamlins team led by Helen Randall included Paul Hopton, Martin McFall, Shiraz Masood, Lucy Doran, Louis Sebastian and Katharine Lewis.