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Bore and Rogers to face council improvement plan grilling

Bore and Rogers to face council improvement plan grilling

🕔19.May 2015

The leader and chief executive of Birmingham city council are to appear in public for the first time to answer questions about the way the authority is addressing issues raised in the Kerslake Review.

Sir Albert Bore and Mark Rogers will be questioned by the independent panel which was set up to monitor the council’s improvement plan. Deputy council leader Ian Ward will also be present.

There will be an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions at the meeting at the Council House on June 11.

The panel will be considering a progress report from the council about the implementation of the recommendations made in the Kerslake Review, which criticised poor leadership, the absence of a strategic plan and a tendency to sweep difficult decisions under the carpet.

Alongside the recommendations relating to action Birmingham City Council should take, Sir Bob (now Lord) Kerslake recommended that the Secretary of State appoint an independent improvement panel to work with the council to provide robust challenge and support.

When the panel has completed questioning Sir Albert, Cllr Ward and Mr Rogers, the leaders of the two opposition parties, Cllr Robert Alden (Conservative) and Cllr Paul Tilsley (Liberal Democrat) will, in succession, respond to questions from the panel and the public.

The meeting will also be webcast here. 

The council’s progress report to the panel will be published on the council’s website a week before the panel meeting.

One area where Sir Albert and Mr Rogers are likely to face questions is on the progress, or lack of progress, in delivering one of Kerslake’s key recommendations  – setting up an independent Birmingham  leadership group to approve the new long-term City Plan and “to hold all involved in delivery of the plan to account”.

John Crabtree, chair of the panel, said:

This first public meeting of the panel will provide a good opportunity for the council to demonstrate that progress is being made in relation to key elements of its improvement plans.

I am very keen that residents and anyone interested in the future of Birmingham should take the opportunity to find out more and question the city’s leaders by attending in person or via the webcast.

The Improvement Panel was set up in January 2015. Its members are John Crabtree, chair, Frances Done, vice chair, Cllr Keith Wakefield, former leader of Leeds City Council, and Steve Robinson, chief executive of Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Lord Warner and Sir Mike Tomlinson, as children’s services commissioners for Birmingham, attend panel meetings.

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