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Review of Birmingham council's governance and culture starts

Sir Bob Kerslake has launched a call for evidence today at the start of his independent review into Birmingham City Council.

The review, which is to be completed by the end of the year, is set to look into the operation, culture and structure of corporate governance at the council. It will also make a series of recommendations on the council’s economic and service delivery capabilities.

Several lines of inquiry have already been discussed with the council leader, Sir Albert Bore, and its chief executive, Mark Rogers, including the structure and size of the council, the clarity of strategic leadership and direction and managerial capacity to deliver the council’s priorities, among others.

Speaking ahead of his first visit to Birmingham to conduct interviews and host open evidence sessions, Sir Bob said: “Birmingham is a vibrant, dynamic city of 1.1 million people and Birmingham Council is the largest in the UK. Ensuring that everyone shares in the cities economic prosperity and takes full advantage of all of the opportunities open to them requires strong civic leadership, effective governance and excellent delivery by the council.

“This is very much an open call for evidence and I’m keen to hear from as many individuals, institutions and organisations as possible to inform the review and its final recommendations.”

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The review was announced in July by Sir Albert and the communities & local government secretary, Eric Pickles MP.

Sir Bob is the permanent secretary for the Department for Communities and Local Government and former head of the civil service.

He will be supported by an advisory panel throughout the review and their names were also announced today. They are:

  • Deborah Cadman, OBE (chief executive, Suffolk County Council)
  • Carolyn Downs (chief executive, Local Government Association)
  • Cllr Sir Steve Houghton (Labour, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Cudworth Ward)
  • Cllr Mehboob Khan (Political Advisor at the Local Government Association for London boroughs, Mayor of London’s office and Westminster / Labour, Kirklees Council, Greenhead Ward)
  • Joanne Roney, OBE (chief executive, Wakefield Council)
  • Cllr David Simmonds (Conservatives, Hillingdon London Borough Council, Ickenham Ward); and
  • Cllr Howard Sykes (Liberal Democrats, Oldham Council, Shaw Ward)

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