Building the future together

Building the future together

The Bishop of Birmingham spoke about the challenge of tackling social inequality at the Be Birmingham summit on Thursday 7 July 2011.

The Right Reverend David Urquhart addressed 160 delegates from the public, private, voluntary, faith and community sectors at “Building the Future Together” held at the Saffron Centre in Highgate.

He said it was “distressing” that social deprivation in Birmingham is among the worst anywhere in the country.

He stressed how important it is that the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in the city receive services that meet their needs and that those at risk of a lifetime of poverty or exclusion are supported before their problems become entrenched.

To ensure that social inclusion is at the top of the agenda, we need to look at the range of need across the city, bring together partners, including voluntary and community groups and residents, to tackle the issues of deprivation in Birmingham.

The summit also included syndicate sessions on Health, Housing, Making a Contribution, Neighbourhood Participation and Birmingham’s Community Based Budgets (CBB) “pathfinder” project on supporting families with complex needs.

It provided a forum for debate on how partners can rise to the challenge of delivering first class services with fewer resources and big ideas about how we can do things differently were encouraged.

Jackie Mould, director of Be Birmingham, said: “While there have been some signs of improvement in relative deprivation across Birmingham in the last few years, there are still significant inequalities which exist between our best performing neighbourhoods and those with the worst outcomes.

“Reducing disadvantage, tackling deprivation and increasing opportunities have long been at the centre of the local strategic partnership’s aims. It is vital that there is a collective effort by all partners to target capacity at areas of greatest need in these times of scarce resources.
“We aim to bring partners together to find different approaches to service delivery which will bring significant and lasting change across all of our disadvantaged neighbourhoods.”
Cllr Paul Tilsley, chair of Be Birmingham and deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Despite these challenging times, we are committed to achieving the outcomes for our city as set out in the sustainable community strategy, Vision 2026.
“By tackling the root causes of deprivation, improving skills and creating jobs in collaboration with the private sector, we are determined to create the conditions in which all our citizens can fulfil their potential and enjoy a high quality of life.”

For a copy of the summit report please click here

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