Birmingham City Council is transforming itself as it addresses the challenges of delivering its programme of safeguarding, education and corporate governance improvements whilst also designing an organisation for the future – which reflects the changing nature of local government and its massively reduced funding.
It is, therefore, most welcome news that the council’s own plans and transformation resources are to be augmented by a grant of £4.37million from the Department for Communities and Local Government.
This money has been provided to support the delivery of the city’s Future Council change programme, enabling even more to now be done, more quickly than originally anticipated.
A bid outlining the need for financial support was submitted to DCLG in June and a grant has been agreed to complement funds already identified by both the council and the Local Government Association to meet recommendations in the council’s improvement plan, the delivery of which is currently being overseen by the Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel.
Specifically, the funding will help the council deliver on its medium-term Future Council plan by being used to fund additional staff capacity to ensure regular council business can continue as usual, provide specialist know-how not already within the council so helping to speed up existing improvement projects, and to fund extra improvement activity.
Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “I am committed to delivering the improvements expected of us and I am pleased that the government has agreed to provide funds that will give even more impetus to the achievement of ambitions in our Future Council.
Whilst we are making progress, these extra funds will undoubtedly help us to accelerate the delivery of the changes in organisational governance and capability that are required.
“It is encouraging that the DCLG has acknowledged this is something we were not able to do wholly within the council’s own limited resources and that it has endorsed our plans to modernise and create a council that is both fit and sustainable for the future.”