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Birmingham making progress on ‘all fronts’ – Lord Kerslake

Lord Kerslake has told MPs that Birmingham City Council is making progress on “all fronts” less than a year after he published a report criticising the local authority for lacking a clear vision for tackling “deep rooted” problems in the city

During a Commons Local Government Committee evidence session this week, he said that he believes the report is being implemented, and being taken forward by Birmingham. 

This will come as good news for Cllr John Clancy, the new leader of the Birmingham Labour Group, who will take over from Sir Albert Bore, who recently wrote for PSE, as leader of the City Council on 1 December. 

Clancy, who has bid to become leader of the city council several times, beat closest rival Penny Holbrook in Monday night’s ballot by a single vote.

I want to pay tribute to Sir Albert Bore for his dedication to Birmingham, his commitment to the people of Birmingham, for his leadership of the Council and as Leader of the Labour Group for the last 16 years,” said Clancy. 

“There are challenging times ahead for Birmingham – and now, under my leadership,  the Labour Group will continue the work already started to swiftly address the concerns of the Kerslake report. I will also ensure that the good work already underway on the improvement agendas for safeguarding and education continues, alongside our commitment to improved partnership working and a more open and transparent council.” 

During the evidence session, Lord Kerslake was asked whether agreeing to create a Combined Authority had distracted Birmingham from delivering improvements, but he suggested the opposite. 

He stated that prior to the agreement being signed there was a feeling that Birmingham wanted to dominate, which was “getting in the way of collaboration”. 

“The fact that they moved away from this approach is part of what allowed the agreement to happen,” said Lord Kerslake. “So actually I think they are making progress on all the fronts of my report.” 

Lord Kerslake, president of the LGA, recently told PSE there is an ‘immense challenge’ to empower local communities and cities in England

“We have a massively over-centralised state in this country. And we would get better UK government and better local government if we were to devolve powers,” he said. 

Last week, the West Midlands became the first region outside the north of England to sign a devolution deal including a metro-mayor, as it agreed to a major £1bn package. 


Mike   08/12/2015 at 18:22

I am pleased that Lord Kerslake has seen improvement in the performance of Birmingham City Council. I can only assume that he is not a resident of the city. Residents have not seen any improvement, rather the contrary. All but the most junior council employees hide away from the people who pay their salaries, refusing to take responsibility for their actions. The council leaders take a similarly arrogant attitude to their electorate. Perhaps we should compel them all to remember what the purpose of a city council is, perhaps Lord Kerslake should also be reminded.

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