The Leader of Birmingham City Council responds to the latest letter from the Independent Improvement Panel.
The most recent letter to Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, from the Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel has been published today (24th February 2017). The letter follows the LGA co-ordinated Independent Financial Review commissioned jointly by Birmingham City Council and the Birmingham Improvement Panel. The review took place in mid- December 2016 and looked at the way the Council had developed its 2017-18 savings proposals, with the team reporting back at the end of January. The reports which were published at the start of February can be found here.
Councillor John Clancy, Leader of the Council, said “The panel is right to conclude that lessons in relation to delivery of the 2016-17 city council budget have been learned, and that there is a ‘strong determination from the leader and cabinet’ to provide the political support needed to deliver fully our latest financial plans.
“I am pleased that the panel believes the council’s 2017-18 budget proposals to be ‘credible and robust’ and has identified improved arrangements for monitoring the delivery of savings.
“The panel has noted that the LGA-sponsored Independent Financial Review team reported a ‘strong resolve’ among senior managers and members to avoid the problems experienced in 2016-17.
“There is of course much more to be done to deliver in full the recommendations set out in Lord Kerslake’s 2014 review of Birmingham City Council’s governance capabilities, but I believe political resolve and strengthened senior management capacity will do just that.”
The review team was made up of experience senior officers and an elected council leader from within the Local Government sector, and was tasked with providing external assurance and due diligence on the 2017-18 budget plans of the Council.
The Council’s budget is due to be agreed at a Full Council meeting on 28th February.