Category Archives: News

Working together to get Sparkbrook sparkling

Sparkbrook residents joined Birmingham City Council, the public health team and other partners for a mass clear-up of one of Birmingham’s busiest High streets.

Sparkbrook Sparkling saw volunteers clear a stretch of the Stratford Rd from Camp Hill Island through to Ladypool Rd.

Mohammed Ashfaq of drug and alcohol support service KIKIT Pathways to Recovery said: “What we wanted to do today was empower local people to come out and make a difference. The people of Sparkbrook are really passionate about their community and we want to work with the City Council to improve the area.”

Piali DasGupta, assistant chief executive of Birmingham City Council, said: “It’s so inspiring to see the teamwork between council officers and people from the community. Eeveryone clearly believes in what is happening here.”

Abdullah Rehman of the Balsall Heath Forum said: “It’s really important for us to be working in partnership. We, the residents, want the same thing the city wants. We want to improve the lives of local people, improve our area and inspire people.

Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel recommends stepping back

The Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel today published a letter to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, reporting on the progress the Council has made in implementing the recommendations of the Kerslake Report in the fifteen months since the report’s publication.

The Panel’s progress report says that whilst some good foundations for improvement have been laid and the pace of progress has picked up, the changes have not yet had the required impact, or become embedded.

Full release:


In a joint statement the three group leaders Cllrs John Clancy (Leader of the Council, Lab), Robert Alden (Con) and Jon Hunt (Lib Dem) and Mark Rogers, Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council, said:

“We accept in full the improvement panel’s latest assessment which sets out our progress to date against the recommendations made in the Kerslake report. The panel’s belief that it should end the current level of intervention, cease to meet and stand back to enable the council to focus even more sharply on continued improvement is welcome news.

We would also very much welcome them back to review our progress at some point in the near future, as they suggest. The advice and support they propose to offer in the interim would also be very helpful.

“The panel has stated we must build further momentum – and that is precisely our intention. We accept there is still more work to be done and at a faster pace. Therefore, we have no intention of taking our foot off the gas and we will be concentrating on ensuring sustained change across the whole organisation and, more importantly, delivering the best quality services and outcomes for our residents.

“There is a collective commitment to restore the city council’s reputation and help Birmingham realise its full potential, working with partners across all areas to continue this pace of change and improvement.”


Note to editors:

Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel recommends stepping back

To read the improvement panel’s letter to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark MP, and the associated background documents, please visit

Changes to our leadership team

New Corporate Leadership Team


In recent weeks, I’ve been working with others on making a number of changes to our leadership team. These changes are both in terms of new colleagues joining the council and new or changed roles for existing senior officers. And I wanted to bring you all up-to-date on these changes as soon as possible after the New Year.

In a nutshell, we welcome this month Piali DasGupta from the Local Government Association, as Assistant Chief Executive to support me directly, and Angela Probert from Nottingham City Council, as Strategic Director for Integrated Support Services and Change, to drive through the significant redirection all of us individually and the council as a whole needs to make.

Names you hopefully will be familiar with as existing members of our Corporate Leadership Team – or CLT as we call it – are Peter Hay, who’ll continue as Strategic Director for the People directorate, looking after the city’s vulnerable children and older adults; and Jacqui Kennedy, who’s acting up as Strategic Director for the Place directorate, which of course includes a vast array of front-line services, from the wheelie bin programme to neighbourhood advice, and housing management to regulation and enforcement.

Paul Dransfield will have a re-defined role as Strategic Director (dropping the role of Deputy Chief Executive) for the development and delivery of major economic programmes for the city and, as appropriate, the wider West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) area; and Waheed Nazir will act up as Strategic Director for the Economy directorate, leading delivery on planning and regeneration, transportation and employment and skills.

Last – but far from least – Jon Warlow, who navigates us all through the budget every year, will take on the newly-combined role of Strategic Director for Finance and Legal Services, including the statutory Section 151 Officer, or Chief Finance Officer, responsibilities.

There will be one other significant change to our directorate structure, in that – whilst Peter, Jacqui and Waheed lead the now-familiar People, Place and Economy directorates respectively – Angela, Paul and Jon will be Strategic Directors in a new Corporate Resources directorate.

I’m really pleased, finally, to have the leadership team of the council in place and that the majority of the permanent recruitment is completed, with the right people doing the right job, as we herald in the next phase of our Future Council programme. Adding to and realigning the council’s senior officer leadership, or strengthening its strategic capacity, was a key area of improvement set out for us last year as we responded to the Kerslake Review into how we govern ourselves.

The Corporate Leadership Team (CLT) will naturally work closely and alongside the political leadership. And you’ll be aware, I’m sure, that Cllr John Clancy, the new Leader of the council, has given council officers – that is, all of us – a clear mandate to run the council, making the changes required and delivering services to the residents of the city, whilst he leads Birmingham alongside key partners and stakeholders.

Therefore, please take time to familiarise yourself with the senior officers who make up your leadership team, with whom you’ll drive forward a council that’s changing radically in how it works over the coming months and years.

Just on a final point of clarity, there are a number of senior, director-level roles, which you may have been familiar with, that have now gone. The roles of Deputy Chief Executive, Director of Finance, Director of Legal and Democratic Services and Interim Service Director for Delivery no longer exist.

So, as we leave the New Year behind and move forward through 2016, the priorities for all of us, working together as a team, must be delivering on the Future Council operating model and implementing the budget savings.