Historic books found during office moves

By on 17/09/2009 in News

Books detailing records of Birmingham's roads from more than a century ago have been rediscovered at a city council office block.

As part of the council's Working for the Future Business Transformation programme,  refurbishment works at 1 Lancaster Circus have meant the teams based there have been having a good clear out before they move back up to the newly refurbished workspaces on the third and fourth floors.

The historic books were found by the Highways Information Team, responsible for keeping statutory records, who will be moving up to the fourth floor during October.
The books, which date back to the 1890s, contain information on the adoption of roads by the council such as the Register of Highways in the City of Birmingham 1880-1920s and the Kings Norton and Northfield Urban District Council Notices of Adoption of Street as Highways starting in 1898, with the last entry dated 1911 for Gristhorpe Road, Selly Oak.

Given their historical significance, the books have been taken into safe keeping by the council's libraries Reference Department Local History Section.

Cllr Neville Summerfield, Cabinet Member for Regeneration at Birmingham City Council, said: “Our main concern is to ensure the books are preserved and kept rather than locked away. It is nice to know they will be available for the public to view and will live on for years to come.

“It is quite ironic that the team has been reunited with items from Birmingham's past at a time when we are embarking upon the Working for the Future project, which is all about making the council's properties fit for the demands of the years to come and to ultimately improve service delivery.”


Notes to editors

1. Business Transformation is Birmingham City Council's ambitious nine-strand programme which aims to modernise and enhance services delivered across the whole authority to citizens. It is projected that the programme will realise benefits of around £1.5billion over the ten years to 2016.

2. Service Birmingham is a strategic partnership between Birmingham City Council and Capita which is supporting a transformation in the way the council works; improving services and contributing to its efficiency agenda. This strategic partnership forms part of the council’s objective to find better and more innovative ways of delivering services for the benefit of employees and citizens. The principle of this joint venture focuses on the provision of cost effective, sector leading, ICT services and in supporting the council in achieving its business transformation objectives.

3. Working for the Future, an essential part of the council's wider Business Transformation programme, will consolidate the office portfolio, providing new workspace for around 9,000 employees across the council and contributing to the delivery of four key outcomes: better customer service, improved workplaces and work styles, greater sustainability and lower property operating costs. WFTF is set to realise £100million of benefits for the council.

4. Working for the Future is the only one of the council's nine Business Transformation programmes for which the full expenditure and benefits are quoted over 25 years. The remaining eight programmes are projected over the ten years to 2016.


For further information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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