Working together to improve Birmingham

Birmingham’s top leaders described how the city can help people improve the quality of their lives despite public sector cuts at the Be Birmingham summit on Thursday 11th November.

The city council’s chief executive Stephen Hughes, deputy leader Cllr Paul Tilsley and Chamber of Commerce boss Jerry Blackett were among the speakers.

They addressed almost 150 delegates from the public, private, voluntary, community and faith sectors at the half-day event.

The draft refreshed Vision 2026, Birmingham’s sustainable community strategy, was also presented. This focuses on the most important priorities for the city, identified by listening to the public and looking at evidence to show where the city needs to improve.

Increasing employment and economic activity, protecting vulnerable people and children in the city and reducing health inequalities were among the main issues discussed.
How to enable people to choose healthier lifestyles, how to improve housing and how to create safer, cleaner, greener neighbourhoods were challenges that were also tackled. The summit, held at Baskerville House in Centenary Square, was sponsored by the built asset consultancy firm EC Harris.
Cllr Paul Tilsley, deputy leader of Birmingham City Council and chair of Be Birmingham said: “The summit debated how this city is to achieve its ambitious 2026 vision despite unprecedented pressure on public services.
“Since the strategy was first developed in 2008, the country’s finances have been hit hard by the recession and the public sector now faces large-scale funding cuts.
“While the overall vision remains the same, it is recognised that not everything can be delivered as originally planned.
“Empowering individuals and communities to take more responsibility for achieving these outcomes, with the public playing a greater role in the design and delivery of services, is a key foundation of the revised strategy.”
Be Birmingham’s director, Jackie Mould, said: “Our partners are committed to working together to use their wealth of expertise to rise to the challenges that face us and to putting the citizen at the centre of service delivery.”
The summit was chaired by The Right Reverend David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, and other high profile speakers included Helen Ghosh, Permanent Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Oli Henman, Project Manager, The Big Society Network.
Notes to editors:
  • Be Birmingham is the city’s local strategic partnership that brings together partners from the business, community, voluntary and faith sectors to deliver a better Birmingham.
  • For more information, please contact Sue Smith, Be Birmingham Marketing and Communications Officer, on 0121 675 3624 or 07816 788663.
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