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Mirza Ahmad: ‘I can run Brum as a part-time mayor’

Mirza Ahmad: ‘I can run Brum as a part-time mayor’

🕔25.Apr 2012

Mirza Ahmad has become the first of Birmingham’s mayoral candidates to suggest that he would be able to combine running the city with a second full time job.

Dr Ahmad, a lawyer, is promising to accept only a “fraction” of any recommended pay package for the mayor, but intends to continue to practice as a barrister from St Philip’s chambers.

The former Director of Corporate Governance and Monitoring Officer at the city council also took a sideswipe at his former colleagues, describing them as working in “highly overpaid, inefficient and ineffective structures”.

He made it clear that he would abolish the post ofcouncil chief executive, a £200,000-a-year position currently held by his former boss Stephen Hughes.

Dr Ahmad intends to stand as an independent candidate at the election for a mayor of Birmingham, which will be held on November 15 if the city votes for change in a referendum on May 3.

He has been promoting himself as a credible alternative to the “current usual suspects from the old and out of touch political parties”

He left the council last year after his £105,000-a-year job disappeared in a restructure and he failed to be appointed the £140,000a-year Strategic Director of Resources.

Dr Ahmad told the Chamberlain Files: “I see election to the post of elected mayor of Birmingham as a great honour and a privilege. Accordingly, I will only take a proportion of any salary recommended by the Independent Remuneration Panel, so long as I continue to practice, as a barrister, from St Philips Chambers.

“I will also look at all of the staffing structures at the city council and send a strong signal to the highly overpaid, inefficient and ineffective structures with the abolition of the post of chief executive.”

Dr Ahmad is the second of the potential mayoral candidates to announce that he would abolish the chief executive role. Labour’s Sion Simon is also committed to getting rid of the post.

His determination to continue in an existing job places him in a similar position to Sir Albert Bore, leader of the city council Labour group who is also chairman of the Birmingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. Some Labour councillors want Sir Albert to give up the hospital position if he becomes city council leader after the elections on May 3, but he has refused to say whether he would continue to chair the trust.

All of the Labour contenders for mayor – Sion Simon, Gisela Stuart and Liam Byrne – will be required by party rules to give up second jobs. Mr Byrne and Mrs Stuart, who are MPs in Birmingham, have been told they must resign their seats if selected as Labour’s mayoral candidate.

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