As I’m sure you’re all aware, the Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel – which is carefully monitoring our progress in responding to recommendations made in Lord Kerslake’s report – will hold its second public meeting this Friday (11 September).
In advance of this meeting, a second formal report has been submitted to the Panel (Friday 4 September). This sets out our improvements against the recommendations and also provides an update on relevant aspects of the Future Council programme. In précis, this is what I have told the panel, and it’s a message that, more importantly, I want to share with you.
I’m pleased the panel has recognised the progress we have made in the last couple of months in terms of delivering the first stages of the Future Council programme. Both Lord Kerslake’s report and communications back from the panel have been clear, in particular, on the imperative for the council to change its culture, specifically around being more open and outward-facing. We are seeing progress – but the journey is underway, not completed.
It’s important for me to take the opportunity to remind everyone that, whilst we are indeed making real progress – pause for congratulation!!! – accountability for this does not lie solely with those of us who will find themselves in front of the Panel this week. Our Future Council depends on how well we all work together for the benefit of all who live, work and visit our city – and on the degree to which we all take personal responsibility for this.
As you will recall from the July feedback, we have not yet convinced the Panel that we have made the unconditional commitment required for them to be satisfied that we will deliver everything expected of us. This is not where I wanted us to be a year on from the start of a Lord Kerslake’s review. Let’s make sure that, by the time we reach Christmas – a year from publication – that the Panel is persuaded.
You can (and should!) read more on Birmingham Newsroom – including the full letter to BIIP outlining our second progress update.
If you’re around on Friday, you may wish to tune into the live webcast of the meeting here, between 12 noon and 2pm, using this link: http://www.birmingham.public-i.tv/core/portal/home
Very best wishes,