Your say on next leader of Birmingham City Council
Only 78 people will have the opportunity to elect the next leader of Europe’s largest metropolitan authority.
We think a few more should have a say, so we’ve created a poll for visitors to the Chamberlain Files. You can vote for any of the four (so far declared) candidates. We’ll run the poll for a week, starting today and finishing just as the Labour Party formally opens the contest for nominations.
Yes, of course Labour councillors are voting for their Group Leader, but that person (almost certainly a white middle aged man as it stands) will become the leader of Birmingham City Council on 1st December, save for some form of constitutional crisis.
To say the person elected by Labour councillors will have a tough job is an understatement.
They will have to follow in the footsteps of Sir Albert Bore, the most dominant politician on the Birmingham scene over the last 20 years. They will have to convince the Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel and Communities Secretary that they are up to the job of implementing the Kerslake Review recommendations and the Future Council plan.
They need to find £250M of budget savings and continue radical improvements to education and social care services, to name but two areas. Plus, they need to work with colleagues across the West Midlands to set up the combined authority and strike a devolution deal with Government.
Labour councillors have the most important decision to make of their political careers. If they choose the wrong man, they could be responsible for the arrival of Government appointed commissioners to take over the running of the Council. What chance then of real devolution for the region and maintaining the confidence of inward investors?
Electors have little to go on. Lots of (apparent) safe hands on offer and precious little by way of hard policy proposals. So, some help from Chamberlain Files visitors would not go amiss.
You can read about the candidates and what they are offering on the site through our various reports, interviews and features.
Please vote only once. By all means encourage friends and colleagues to participate, but we would appreciate it if everyone took part on a free and fair basis.
The poll is open.
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