Leader's blog - July 2021

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, writes the first edition of what will be a monthly blog, rounding up key stories from recent weeks...

I hope that you are all keeping well and making the most of the warmer weather. At the time of writing, the England football team are still participating in the European Championships, and I sincerely hope that they still are as you are reading this!

As the Covid vaccination programme has been expanded to all adults, work continues across Birmingham to roll-out this life-saving vaccination. This will be critical if we are to stop the spread of the delta variant and limit the third wave of infections that we are seeing. I would like to extend my thanks to all of those who are involved in the roll-out of the vaccine.

Get the latest updates on the mobile vaccination hubs and drop-in centres across the city

New £7.2 million investment to clean up Birmingham’s streets

Birmingham’s Cleaner Greener Streets initiative has received a boost of £7.2 million which will fund a range of new initiatives to clean up Birmingham’s streets. This figure amounts to a 10% increase on top of the regular budget for these services and will benefit communities across Birmingham.

Amongst the initiatives being funded are four Mobile Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) which will make it easy and convenient for residents to dispose of unwanted items and waste. These Mobile HRCs will visit every area of the city, prioritising those areas with higher levels of fly-tipping.

There are a range of projects and initiatives being rolled out in the year ahead, including new mobile CCTV camera technology to detect fly-tipping, and the launch of a Crimewatch-style YouTube series to help the council to trace waste crime culprits.

More crews will be deployed to clear up dumped rubbish and graffiti, and more resources will be provided to community groups to help them to do their bit to make Birmingham’s streets cleaner and greener.

This new investment will make a huge difference to the cleanliness of our streets, which has become an increasing problem since the pandemic began. Find out more about the new initiatives, and how they will make a difference in your area.

Birmingham City Council praised for financial management

Birmingham City Council’s improvements in its financial management have been described as exemplary in a new report from Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

CIPFA reviewed the council’s financial management capability and ranked us as a three-star authority – up from the one-star rating awarded in 2019 and delivered a year ahead of schedule.

This report demonstrates that Birmingham City Council is working hard to make every penny count when improving the lives of people in all parts of Birmingham. Our recovery from the pandemic, and the wonderful opportunities that lie ahead for us with the Commonwealth Games and the arrival of HS2, will be underpinned by sound financial management.

Read more about the CIPFA report

£100m fund to fix Birmingham’s roads

Birmingham City Council is investing £100 million to fix the state of the roads across our city to make travelling around Birmingham safer and more comfortable for our road and pavement users.

A £60 million fund will be spent operational services in the next 12 months, with routine and reactive repairs being carried out. This will not only involve pothole repairs and surfacing programmes, but also fixing faulty streetlights and maintaining trees and drainage systems.

A further £40 million will be invested in our roads beginning in September 2021, focused on delivering improvements in high-use routes, and roads that have been the subject of claims, complaints and petitions.

This investment will be made across our city, with repairs carried out in every single ward. The programme of works will benefit all road and pavement users, whether they are pedestrians, cyclists, bus users or car drivers.

Levelling Up Birmingham

Birmingham City Council has approved plans to submit a range of bids to the Government through the Levelling Up Fund which would see investment go into Erdington High Street, Dudley Road, Balsall Heath Library and Moseley Road Baths and the former Birmingham Wheels Site.

The bid for Erdington High Street, for £12.7 million, would see the high street transformed, with new housing, the redevelopment of the former swimming baths into a Community and Enterprise Hub, the redevelopment of the Central Square Shopping Centre including new flats, restaurants and cafes, and a new public square.

The bid for Dudley Road is for £19.94 million and would see improvements made to the road near Birmingham City Hospital, with segregated cycle paths and a new bus lane, helping to make travel along this important road more efficient.

The £14 million bid for the Moseley Road Baths and Balsall Heath Library would allow the Council to proceed with the next phase of restoring this beautiful Grade II listed Edwardian swimming pool and library, returning them to pride of place within their community.

Finally, the bid for £17.1 million would prepare the Birmingham Wheels site for future employment opportunities by demolishing the existing buildings and improving access. This will allow the site to be used for employment purposes, helping to bring new jobs to the area.

These Levelling Up Fund bids have the potential to make a huge difference to our city, changing lives and creating new jobs and homes for the people of Birmingham.

Read the full Cabinet Report

New development approved for Highgate Road

The Full Business Case for a new development consisting of 61 new homes for social rent on Highgate Road has been approved by the Cabinet.

The scheme will comprise a range of properties including flats and three, four, five and six bed houses. The development will be delivered through the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust and demonstrates Birmingham City Council’s commitment to building homes for social rent.

This blog was posted on 1 July 2021

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