Latest Public Sector News


Kerslake won’t rule out break-up of Birmingham

Sir Bob Kerslake has refused to rule out recommending to ministers that Birmingham City Council should be broken up into smaller authorities.

Sir Bob was asked about splitting up the council and he said he could not “leave the issue unexplored”.

As previously reported by PSE, Sir Bob, who is the Department for Communities and Local Government permanent secretary, launched his review into the operation, culture and governance of Birmingham City Council earlier this month. The review was announced in July by council leader Sir Albert Bore and the communities and local government secretary, Eric Pickles MP, in the wake of the Trojan Horse affair.

In the Local Government Chronicle interview he said: “There are some areas where you would think size would be helpful in relation to economic planning and so on…But as the issue has been raised over quite a period of time…we ought to explore it. We can’t leave the issue unexplored.”

However, Sir Bob was quick to also say that England has big councils that function well, and that he did not have the power to take action in relation to Birmingham, any decision to break up the council would be “a matter for ministers to consider”.

“This review is not geared up or set up to make actions on that sort of issue but it can and should look at the questions that have been raised about size,” he said.

A spokesperson for Birmingham City Council refused to comment.

Birmingham has recently begun to implement a system known as “triple devolution”, in which the city’s governance will operate at three levels. Under this system, some local services will be run at a neighbourhood level; city-wide services will be run in closer partnership with other public bodies and regional issues will be determined in partnership with other councils.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >