What is ‘Birmingham 2026’?
Birmingham 2026 is the city’s Sustainable Community Strategy – a shared vision for the future of our city, securing a higher quality of life for Birmingham people. It was launched in 2008 by Be Birmingham, the Local Strategic Partnership, and was built on what local people and organisations said were the big issues for the city over the next 16 years.
Breaking down barriers between different organisations, the strategy brings together public, private, voluntary, community and faith sector bodies in Birmingham around shared priorities, which everyone in the city can work together to achieve. This can also help in developing more effective ways of using resources and spending money, stopping duplication and waste.
Why are we updating it?
The world is a very different place to the one in which Birmingham’s original vision was developed. A period of economic stability has been replaced by economic volatility, as countries around the world attempt to come to terms with the global recession. Birmingham has certainly not been immune to this – unemployment has risen, many local businesses have closed and young people are finding it difficult to secure jobs.
The country’s finances have been hit hard. The public sector now faces massive pressures on its services, with large scale funding cuts over the next four years and beyond. Public bodies are having to make difficult decisions realigning and redesigning what services they deliver.
With less money around, it is clear that not everything in the original vision can be delivered in the same way. Therefore we have looked again at the outcomes we originally said we wanted to achieve and reassessed these to identify the most important priorities. We have done this by listening – to what the public say are the most important issues to them; and understanding – the evidence that tells us the issues where we have not been doing as well as we should have. By updating the vision together, Be Birmingham partners have taken a shared approach to identifying what the most important priorities should be.
What has changed?
Not everything has changed. It is clear that the overall vision remains the same. The five strategic outcomes, a key feature of the original strategy are retained, although they are placed in a new framework.
Enjoying a high quality of life (within environmental limits) is the overall aim for the residents of Birmingham. By making progress in the other strategic outcomes (succeed economically, stay safe in a clean green neighbourhood and be healthy), Birmingham will move towards the overall vision.Making a contribution, alongside a flourishing private enterprise and public service excellence become the foundation of the Birmingham 2026 vision. The other outcomes cannot be achieved unless sufficient progress is made against these foundations.