Birmingham City Council

Council Business Plan 2014+

The Council publishes its annual vision and intent in the Business Plan and Budget, based on the Leader’s Policy Statement which comes out in June each financial year. It’s an important document containing the key priorities and how we are going to deliver them.

Our priorities are to create a fair, prosperous and democratic city, and we are committed to protecting vulnerable citizens and maintaining essential services.

Birmingham faces a future where working together has never been so important. Some services may have to be scaled down or cease altogether as the reductions in government grants continue

This future involves doing things differently to make the most of the resources we have. Birmingham City Council’s Business Plan and Budget outlines a vision where we create

Our priorities

The council’s highest level priorities are summarised below

A Fair City

  • Safety net: People are safe, especially the most vulnerable
  • Wellbeing: All benefit from improved health and wellbeing
  • Poverty: Children and families will not live in poverty - Birmingham will be a "Living Wage City"

A Prosperous City

  • Growing businesses: Businesses will be growing and new ones starting up
  • Education and skills: People will have the qualifications they need for work, including qualifications for school leavers and working age population skills
  • Youth: Young people will be in employment, training or education
  • Unemployment: No groups or areas will be blighted by high employment
  • Sustainability: Birmingham will be more environmentally sustainable

A Democratic City

  • Engagement and influence: Local people will be engaged in local democracy, and have more influence on local decisions

It is critical that we prioritise how we use our diminishing resources in the years ahead and focus intensely on these core objectives. Due to the scale of cuts to our income and the changing landscape of local government, the focus of our work in the year ahead will be on:

  • Protecting the most vulnerable citizens of the city from the impact of cuts to services and benefits

  • Protecting the highest priority services and delivering day to day in the most efficient way possible, whilst identifying services of a lower priority

  • Taking forward some priority policy development programmes that are most critical to our goals.

  • Transforming the City Council so that we can continue to work towards our objectives with significantly reduced resources – implementing the framework set out in the White Paper Planning Birmingham’s Future in December 2013.

Shaping the Future of the City Council

During 2013 the council undertook a root and branch review of all its services to radically rethink what services should be provided, how they could be provided and who should provide them. The service review process has started to outline the radical transformation of the City Council that will be needed in the years ahead. During 2014/15 we will be creating our new streamlined structure of just three directorates – Economy, People and Place. An important task will be to ensure that this new structure supports the more integrated approach throughout the organisation that we are seeking to build for the longer term, with clear strategic direction and a focus on priorities. The White Paper showed that there were common themes emerging across the service reviews:

  • Working with others – seeking new providers for services either through outsourcing, working with voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises, creating new organisations or shifting provision to the private sector; and developing new partnerships.

  • Working differently – joining services up so that they are focused on the “whole person” or the “whole place” rather than requiring people to access lots of different services; reducing the need for services, mainly through preventing the most expensive problems from arising; and stopping the provision of services altogether where necessary and appropriate.

The White Paper also set out a framework for the future role of the City Council and how it would work with others. We call this our “new model of city government” ,based on passing down of powers and funding and joining up of services at three different levels (“triple devolution”):

  • The City Region – working in partnership with our neighbouring councils and using pooled funding streams passed down from central government.
  • The City – working more closely with other agencies such as health, social care providers and schools, integrating services and ultimately creating a “Place Based Settlement”.
  • The Neighbourhood – building the role of our devolved district arrangements; bringing together Neighbourhood Services and creating service hubs.

During 2014 the service review process begun in 2014 will intensify alongside a campaign “ Standing up for Birmingham” to encourage people and organisations across the city to make a greater contribution to local service and local places.