Monthly Archives: October 2015
Please see below an important statement from the Leader of the Council.
The messages contained therein are self-explanatory but I want to emphasise that, whilst Sir Albert has signalled a change ahead in the political leadership of the council, he has also made it clear that it remains ‘business as usual’ in the delivery of the future Council programme, our improvement agenda and other major initiatives.
There will be further information from me when it becomes available but, right now, stay focused and continue in the mission of making a positive difference everyday to the lives of our citizens.
Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council said:
“For some time now I have been considering how to put in place a succession strategy for the Leadership of the City Council. As Leader, for some years now, the people of Birmingham have always come first. I’ve had a vision for Birmingham and I want to ensure someone else is in place to see through the work that I’ve started.
“What we also need at the moment is some stability rather than the distraction within the Council and the media of how long I might remain as Leader. This is drawing attention away from the work that the City Council needs to drive forward.
“There are several essential items on our agenda for Birmingham at the moment, including the work of the Independent Improvement Panel, the delivery of a Combined Authority and a Devolution Deal with Government, and an agreement on budget parameters which will be necessary to take this Council through to 2020. These projects are crucial for the future prosperity and economic security of the city.
“A new voice will see Birmingham through the next period in its history. So it is right for me to step back and take on a different role.
“I have asked the Labour Party to now think about an election process for a new Labour Group Leader. A new Leader needs to be in place to so as to allow me to step aside as Leader of the Council in December. Between now and then this will be a transition period, but the essential work of the Council will not be interrupted.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to be the Leader of Birmingham City Council. I am sure that one of my Labour colleagues, in becoming the new Leader of the City Council, will continue to bring vision and passion to the job that will deliver both prosperity for the city and a successful future for all its residents and businesses.”
Councillor Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council said:
“Sir Albert Bore has made a huge contribution to Birmingham. His drive, enthusiasm and commitment have changed the shape of the city to the benefit of Birmingham citizens. He has been an inspirational leader.
“I have worked closely with him for over 15 years and have learnt a great deal from his selfless dedication to public service. I owe him a great debt of gratitude.
“He has always put Birmingham and its people first and whilst I personally am sad that he will be stepping down as Leader of the Council, it is typical of Albert that he has reached this decision by placing the interests of the city ahead of himself.”
Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington said:
“Albert Bore is a legend in his lifetime, one of Birmingham’s greatest Leaders in the City of Joseph Chamberlain. He has devoted his life to making our City a better place to live and work. A man who has led Birmingham through tough times, he leaves a lasting legacy. A man of immense integrity who now hands on the leadership of the City to the next generation, he will always be remembered for putting Birmingham first”
Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham said:
“Sir Albert Bore has made a remarkable and enduring contribution to the city of Birmingham and to its public life. He has been a tireless and passionate advocate of Birmingham, its diversity, and its standing as one of Europe’s leading cities. Birmingham has a long tradition of distinguished civic leaders and Albert Bore stands in that fine tradition.”
One or two of you have been chasing me for a new blog (really?). My only excuse is that the last month or so has been so action-packed that I just haven’t been able to find the time.
But that’s not good enough. We all know that we live in a world where it’s all about communication, communication and more communication.
I was reminded of this again at the end of last week.
I was trying to get some reflective time (fat chance – you can leave Birmingham, but it will never leave you) at the annual SOLACE conference and I made sure that I caught a session by Gavin Esler entitled “How Leaders Tell Stories: Lessons From The Top”.
In amongst the tales about how a whole host of high profile figures have created their own leadership personae and narratives – think Nelson Mandela at the South African World Cup in a Springbok rugby shirt; think Bill Clinton claiming to be just an ordinary boy from Hope, Arkansas – Esler reminded us that we are only leaders if we have followers; and we only have followers when we communicate effectively.
So, back to a more regular blog.
Stories from the city; stories from the sea
Bournemouth also reminded me that local government, whilst shrinking in size and cost, is nonetheless growing in importance. More than ever, we are the 4th emergency service ensuring support and succour for the most vulnerable in our society. Whilst continuing for the foreseeable future to be affected by the impact of deficit reduction on our budgets, I still found myself amongst colleagues determined to use their imagination, resourcefulness and sheer determination to do the very best they can with the diminishing resources at their disposal.
And what we also agreed wasn’t decreasing was the potential of all our organisations to invent new futures. I am proud to be part of a public service leadership community that isn’t disempowered by the present challenges and those that still lie ahead.
And this is how it must be in Birmingham. We have multiple issues to grapple with. Some, as you know, the consequence of factors outside our control; others, the result of proverbially shooting ourselves in the foot – several times and over many years. But, irrespective of why we are in difficulty, we must raise up our heads up and look to the horizon (or, at least, to 2020) and imagine a new city council – one in which the values, vision, policies, priorities, operating models and – crucially – the outcomes all line up to give our communities a clear sense of our shared purpose and commitment to being the best we can and doing the best for them.
The Biggest Prize In Sport
As we dig deep to ramp up our improvement effort, we should reflect on the recent experiences of the English and Uruguayan rugby teams (irrespective of whether or not you support either of them).
On Saturday they played each other – with very different expectations, but also with a common cause. England, one time contenders for the cup itself, now needing victory to prove it could still win a match; Uruguay, unexpected qualifiers, revelling in the sheer pleasure of being in the same competition as the greatest. But the common factor was that both teams needed to confound expectations.
And this is what we need to do. Too many – within and without – don’t yet believe in us. Well, it is up to the rest of us to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that we have what it takes – including the leadership skills to win across the sceptics – to put Birmingham City Council where is deserves to be. At the top of the league.