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Appointments made as council reshapes to invest in city’s future

The Council House
Published: Friday, 30th April 2021

Plans to reshape Birmingham City Council to better meet the city’s priorities have taken a significant step forward today (April 30).

Rob James has been appointed to the new role of Managing Director - City Operations, with Julie Griffin named as Managing Director of City Housing.

The roles are part of the wider structure which was agreed in the Investing in our Future report, approved by the city council’s Cabinet in January of this year, with the remaining roles set to be filled in the coming months.

Rob has held a number of key positions within the council including spells as Director of Housing and as a Constituency Director. His most recent position has been as the Acting Director of Neighbourhoods where he has been delivering high-profile services including Waste Management, where he has helped develop a joint service improvement plan by working with Trade Unions and the workforce.

During the COVID-19 pandemic Rob has also led on a number of strategic and tactical interventions for the council’s response to the pandemic.

Julie joined Birmingham City Council in 2016 from Stoke-on-Trent City Council where she had worked for a number of years.

Since June 2018, she has been our acting Assistant Director of Housing and responsible for reducing the number of rough sleepers on the streets by 80 percent.

She also played a key lead role in the ‘everyone in’ initiative which was a response for rough sleepers during the initial COVID-19 lockdown, supporting residents into effective pathways of accommodation. A significant achievement for Julie was delivering the highest number of new tenancies for Housing First since September 2018, for the whole of the West Midlands.

Leaving the council is Assistant Chief Executive Jonathan Tew, who has secured the role of Chief Executive at South Tyneside Council, pending their Full Council's approval in May.

Jonathan joined Birmingham City Council in 2018 and has led on a breadth of service areas including public health; community safety; policy development, performance and insight; strategic communications; partnership working and improvement across the complex range of services provided to over a million of Birmingham’s residents.

Commenting on the announcements, Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “As Birmingham looks to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, these important appointments mean the council is well placed to play a leading role in the recovery that benefits people right across the city.

“Rob and Julie are committed to serving the people of Birmingham and have both worked tirelessly to support and protect our communities throughout the pandemic.

“Jonathan has also played a key role in our COVID response. I want to thank him for his hard work over the last three years and to wish him the very best of luck in his new role.”

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