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Leader of England’s largest council calls for Government to “act now”

The leader of Birmingham City Council has urged the Government to “act now” in order to avoid the catastrophic case numbers that are currently being seen in certain boroughs of London.

The leader, Ian Ward, cited the 36% increase in cases in Birmingham over the past week, with hospitals being at breaking point in the region.

Speaking to BBC Radio West Midlands, Ward said:

“University Hospital Birmingham has 98% of its intensive care beds occupied and Sandwell and City (hospitals trust) has 100% of its intensive care beds occupied.”

Ward claims that Birmingham is not in a position to wait until cases get into the thousands because the city simply doesn’t have the healthcare facilities to deal with the numbers that are being seen in areas such as London.

Leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer, has called on Boris Johnson to put in place further restrictions for the country to curb an “out of control” virus.

Speaking after the Prime Minister’s reference to “tougher restrictions”, Starmer said:

“That delay has been the source of so many problems. So, I say, bring in those restrictions now, national restrictions, within the next 24 hours. That has to be the first step to controlling the virus.”

The UK has had over 50,000 cases for the past 6 days, something that hasn’t happened since the pandemic took hold in March.

PSE December/January 2024

PSE December/January 2024

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Ep 48. Achieving Net Zero - Cllr Abdul Jabbar - Oldham Council

As central government aims for the UK to be net zero by 2050, councils around the country make plans for how to reduce emissions. This episode’s guest, Oldham’s Councillor Abdul Jabbar outlines the importance of coming together to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint, the benefits of achieving net zero, and how Oldham Council are working to do just that.
 

Touching on the role that the public sector can play in sustainability, Cllr Jabbar said:
 

“I think it’s really important that the public sector gives true leadership in this space. I think something like one third of the carbon emissions in the country come from the public sector, so obviously we’re a big polluter in terms of the emissions.”
 

Councillor Jabbar also spoke about challenges being faced by organisations:
 

“I think the biggest one has been finance. Clearly the local government sector in particular has had its grants cut from central government by a huge amount and that’s had a very big impact in terms of our plans to take forward projects in relation to climate change, so that’s a major issue.”
 

To hear what Cllr Jabbar has to say about the mission to achieve net zero carbon emissions, listen to the latest episode of the Public Sector Executive Podcast.

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