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People’s Peter to retire from Council’s top team

People’s Peter to retire from Council’s top team

🕔26.Jan 2017

Peter Hay, Strategic Director for People, has announced that he will be retiring this summer after fourteen years with Birmingham City Council.

Mr Hay will take early retirement in July, although he will stand down from his role as Strategic Director for People on 31 March. Between April and July he will be seconded to undertake a “small number of research and evaluation based projects” for the council.

The news comes in the week when the council’s cabinet studied the latest budget overspends and failures to make forecast savings, the most significant of which were in the People department.

The cabinet also green lighted a proposal to move children’s services to a new trust model.

Mr Hay qualified as a social worker in 1985 and held a range of social work posts in Humberside County Council. He held three roles at Birmingham City Council: Strategic Director Social Care and Health (2003-06); Strategic Director for Adults and Communities (2006-13) and Strategic Director for People (2013-17).

Mr Hay was also president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care as well as leading on engagement for shaping local care services for the Department of Health.

He was awarded a CBE in 2012 for services to social care and health.

Birmingham city council has faced continuing challenges over the performance of its adult and children’s social care services, leading to highly critical Ofsted reports and the imposition of Government appointed commissioners. External inspectors and experts have recognised improvements, but progress has been too slow for most of them.

In a message to staff on his departmental blog site last night, he said:

Everyone knows that the Children’s Trust is a major change for the Council, coming at the same time as real opportunities to develop joint approaches for adult care and health. These developments come as I have reached a milestone of twenty years as Director, across two councils. To give your best to leading such services is an “all in” and very personal experience from which I have decided that it’s time for me to move on.

I am very grateful to the City Council for agreeing to my retirement. Before I go, I particularly appreciate the Council giving me a period of time to draw together my experiences and produce some national work.

I want to thank all in this council for the wonderful opportunities that have arisen as part of working across three strategic director roles over fourteen years. I have been supported and constructively challenged from across the political spectrum, guided by the wise oversight and steer of three supportive chief executives and six hugely dedicated Cabinet members. I know I would be neither the manager nor the person I am today without the friendship and support offered by so many.

Across partner agencies, the council and beyond, but most importantly between staff and citizens, I have greatly appreciated being part of a shared community effort to make a positive difference to people’s lives. Within this I have had the privilege to lead many talented staff who carry out amazing work

Councillor Brigid Jones, cabinet member for children, families and schools, said:

Peter could not have taken on the DCS role here at a harder time. Since then he has overseen significant improvements both in children’s services and in schools, both of which have been recognised by Ofsted.

We have worked together through many very difficult challenges, driving through changes and improvements to children’s services.

He has been personally instrumental in securing a stable and motivated workforce and I shall miss his leadership, professionalism and unreserved support. It has been a true pleasure and privilege to work alongside Peter.

Councillor Paulette Hamilton, cabinet member for health and social care, said:

Peter has made a real contribution to this remarkable city, overseeing improvements – in really challenging times – to health and social care.

Peter is admired and respected among colleagues and partners, both at director level and those on the frontline. I have really enjoyed working with him and on behalf of my colleagues and the wider city, I want to thank him for his service and wish him well in his retirement.

Meanwhile, the city council has confirmed it will introduce a council tax exemption for care leavers.

The 100 per cent council tax exemption will be mandatory for care leavers until age 21 and discretionary until age 25.

Birmingham City Council leader Cllr John Clancy said:

I said when I became leader of the council that I wanted to see the recommendations of the Birmingham Child Poverty Commission acted upon, so I am delighted that we have been able to take the important step of exempting young adults from council tax when they first leave the council’s care.

Looking after all of Birmingham’s children and making sure they reach their full potential remains at the very top of my personal political agenda. This latest initiative follows on from a decision also to implement the commission’s recommendation that the council should not use bailiffs when seeking to recover debt from citizens in receipt of council tax support.

As the Child Poverty Commission correctly noted, managing and understanding council tax bills for the first time is frequently a challenge, and many care leavers aren’t aware of their entitlements around exemption or support.

It’s important to do everything possible to make sure the move from care to independence runs as smoothly as possible, including giving a helping hand to cover initial housing costs.

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