Laura Sharman 09 December 2014

Birmingham warned to 'radically' improve or face intervention

Birmingham warned to radically improve or face intervention image

Birmingham Council has been warned to ‘radically improve’ the way it is run and delivers services in an independent review published today.

The review, conducted by Sir Bob Kerslake, was commissioned following the ‘Trojan Horse’ school scandal earlier this year. It has concluded the council lacks a clear vision for the city and must make ‘sweeping changes’ into how the authority is run.

It also revealed that deep rooted problems are being ‘swept under the carpet’ rather than being tackled such as low skills or economic growth.

Sir Kerslake said: ‘Over several years the council has failed to resolve its financial issues and the poor performance of its children’s services or to respond to the large number of people in the city with low skills. Collectively, despite the thriving physical regeneration of the city centre, this has held the city back.’

Local government secretary, Eric Pickles, said he strongly backed the review and warned the council would face further intervention if it did not improve within a year.

‘For too long the council has been a dysfunctional organisation which has failed to get to grips with the problems its faces and the economic challenges of the future,’ he said.

‘It must stop looking to central government to bail it out and come up with innovative solutions itself. Now is not a time for the council to feel sorry for itself, but to start providing the leadership, skills and services its people need as the best authorities are doing across the country.’

The review recommends a change in the electoral cycle from 2017 to give residents the chance to vote for the whole council every four years, rather than the current system which splits local elections into returning a third of the authority every year.

Sir Kerslake is also calling for an independent improvement panel to be established to ensure the council delivers on the report’s recommendations.

In response, the council it was glad the review recognised Birmingham had the potential to be a regional economic powerhouse in the future, and has made ‘significant improvement’ over recent years.

A statement from leader of the council Sir Albert Bore and chief executive Mark Rogers said the council accepts ‘the broad thrust of all the recommendations in the report’ and it would be immediately implementing five of the recommendations.

Visit The MJ to read their interview with Sir Bob Kerslake.

Meeting new planning requirements for trees image

Meeting new planning requirements for trees

Concrete block permeable paving offers an important opportunity to help satisfy the requirement for extensive tree planting and retention of existing trees in developments. Chris Hodson reports.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Director of Children's Safeguarding and Care 

Gloucestershire County Council
Up to £116,391, plus relocation support
We are looking to fill this vital role at a very important time for us.  Our children’s services team is on an important journey of... Gloucestershire
Recuriter: Gloucestershire County Council

Student Gardener

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 2 - £17,715 per annum
We are looking for candidates with a desire to improve their skill and knowledge within the horticultural industry the use of a variety of horticul... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Casual Assistant Coach

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 3 - £9.48 per hour
An exciting opportunity has arisen to support the Community Sport & Wellbeing Team at Chelmsford City Council with a Physical Activity project for ... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Developer Level 2

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 9 - Starting at £38,517 per annum, rising to £42,441
Would you like to work for an Investors in People award winning organisation that offers flexible working arrangements, excellent pension and have ... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Casual Assistant Swimming Instructor

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 4 - £10.79 per hour
Riverside Leisure Centre is Chelmsford City Council’s flagship leisure facility, offering a variety of sporting activities where there is something... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue