The Role of Councillors on District Committees

This inquiry builds on the work of the District & Public Engagement Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s inquiry: Are Ward Committees Fit for Purpose? and began before the Kerslake review was published The Committee has held three evidence gathering sessions (18th November 2014, 9th December 2014 and 20th January 2015) and undertaken a visit to the Erdington District (2nd December 2014). A survey was also sent to all Councillors – 16 responses (13% response rate) which received wide ranging views. The aim of ...

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Birmingham Trees for Life plants Nelson Mandela Memorial Plantation at Handsworth Park

Birmingham Trees for Life (BTFL), the local tree-planting organisation for Birmingham, planted 10 trees in Handsworth Park on 4th February 2015 to create a new Nelson Mandela Memorial Plantation.  I was joined by my colleague Councillors of Lozells and East Handsworth Ward, Cllrs. Hendrina Quinnen and Mahmood Hussain; all on hand to help to plant the trees, ably assisted by 13 students from Handsworth Wood Girls’ Academy. The event was funded from BTFL’s Big Tree Plant grant, a national Government programme, ...

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‘Are Ward Committees Fit For Purpose?’ Final Report

At the January 2015, Birmingham City Council meeting of all 120 elected councillors, I presented the scrutiny report of the Districts & Public Engagement Overview and Scrutiny Committee that I chair titled: Are Ward Committees Fit For Purpose? This report came a few weeks after Sir Bob Kerslake presented the findings of his report. You can download and read the full report here. A shorter version of the report can be downloaded here. And to read the response from the Leader of Birmingham City ...

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West Midlands Police Decide To Close Handsworth Police Station To The Public

Today, I received correspondence from Assistant Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police, Carl Foulkes, that following a West Midlands Police review on the future of front offices, they have decided that in the next 12 months, a phased process will take place to close Handsworth Police Station to the public. Some of you may recall that on 26th November 2011, thats 3 years ago next week, I arranged a meeting in Handsworth to raise concerns with the West Midlands Police, ...

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#BrumYouthPromise – investing in young people

All young people across Birmingham will have access to employment, training, apprenticeships or work experience when they leave school, Birmingham City Council has promised. The Youth Promise proposal gives young people access to a universal offer which guarantees an offer of employment, education, training, apprenticeship or work experience within four months of leaving school or college.   To achieve this we will: Establish a new Birmingham careers service – information, advice and guidance if you are aged 16-19 and not in education, employment or ...

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Schools launch CitySafe Havens with Citizens UK Birmingham

Schools and youth groups, working with Citizens UK: Birmingham, regional branch of national community organising charity, Citizens UK, have launched 16 CitySafe Havens in Birmingham, the first havens to be developed outside London. The launch of the CitySafe scheme comes after members of Citizens UK Birmingham ran a listening campaign during summer 2013 which identified street and bus safety as a top concern for young people. A CitySafe Haven is a public place to seek refuge in a difficult situation. Safe Havens ...

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Web Chat: Are Birmingham CIty Council Ward Committee’s Fit For Purpose?

Live Blog Are Ward Committees Fit For Purpose? The Districts & Public Engagement Scrutiny Committee at Birmingham City Council is carrying out a short inquiry on how we can improve Birmingham City Council's 40 ward committee's. Please join me on Monday, between 6pm and 7pm for a web chat and share your experience of ward committee's, suggest how we can improve them and share good practice. There is also a questionnaire you can complete online. Hard copies are also available on request. We will also ...

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Are Ward Committees Fit For Purpose?

Across the city there are many councillors and members of the public who hold ward committees dear to their hearts. For them they embody the best of our democratic system, providing councillors with a formal place to regularly meet with their constituents and providing the electorate with a place to hold councillors to account. They prove their worth particularly if there is a contentious issue in the area, as we are told that everyone has a chance to have their ...

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