A crucial summit to plan new ways to improve Birmingham despite public sector spending cuts took place on Monday 19th July.
More than 150 delegates from the public, private, voluntary and community sectors met at the MAC in Cannon Hill Park to discuss how to deliver ‘more for less’ for the city’s residents.
A primary focus was how to achieve the vision for the city set out in the sustainable community strategy, Birmingham 2026, by cutting out duplication and working with more collaboration.
The summit, hosted by Be Birmingham, the local strategic partnership, was chaired by The Right Reverend David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham. High profile speakers included:
- Greg Barker MP, Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change
- Cllr Paul Tilsley, chair, Be Birmingham and deputy leader, Birmingham City Council
- Cllr Randal Brew, cabinet member for Finance, Birmingham City Council.
Another special guest was be Birmingham’s Young Poet Laureate, India Miller, aged 16. India performed a specially commissioned poem about her own hopes and aspirations for the Birmingham of the future.
The Minister spoke about what the Department of Energy and Climate Change is currently doing to improve the energy efficiency of homes, communities and businesses, at both a national and local level.
Delegates also took part in workshops which looked at how to make Birmingham a cleaner, greener, safer city, where people enjoy a high quality of life and make a positive contribution to their community. In these sessions participants explored ways of working differently and better together to improve outcomes for Birmingham’s citizens.
Greg Barker MP, Climate Change Minister, said: “Birmingham is a city with a ‘can do’ attitude when it comes to tackling climate change. We are in tough economic times, but a move to low carbon will present opportunities for growth as we recover from the recession. Birmingham has been quick to seize these opportunities. It is already reaping the benefits, slashing millions off its fuel bills as well as securing local jobs.
At the “Be Birmingham” summit I challenged the city’s key organisations to continue to work effectively together under the Government’s new Green Deal. This will be a new and radical way of making home energy efficiency affordable to all.”
Cllr Paul Tilsley, Be Birmingham’s chair and deputy leader of the city council said: “Continuing business as usual is not an option. We have an opportunity now to work in a different way. We have to be creative and change the perception of Birmingham into a world leader.
“We want to work with the citizens of Birmingham to help shape the Birmingham of the future.”
Jackie Mould, Be Birmingham’s director, said: “The challenge for us and our partners is to work on how to join up our resources so that we can deliver quality public services despite spending cuts.
“The ‘whole Birmingham’ approach means bringing together all of our collective resources and rethinking how they might be used to better effect.
“We want to put the citizen at the centre of service design and delivery, helping us to create the services they receive.”
Listen to interviews live at MAC on the BBC WM Ed Doolan show:
For further information, contact Sue Smith on 0121 675 3624 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For media enquiries in relation to Greg Barker MP, Minister for Climate Change, please contact Philippa Heap on 0300 0685218.
Notes to editors:
- Be Birmingham is the city’s local strategic partnership, that brings together partners from the business, community, voluntary, faith and public sectors to deliver a better quality of life in Birmingham.
- The sustainable community strategy, Birmingham 2026 Our Vision for the Future, is built around delivering five key outcomes developed through research and analysis, debate and discussion with Birmingham people. They are to:
o succeed economically
o stay safe in a clean green city
o be healthy
o enjoy a high quality of life
o make a contribution.