Birmingham City Council leader, Sir Albert Bore, has today (28/10/2015) committed the council to work with the parish councils’ movement to develop local devolution deals within the city. The move follows the decision to create a Parish Council for Sutton Coldfield, with the potential to localise delivery of many local services.
Speaking at the annual conference of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) in Birmingham, Sir Albert Bore said: “We want to work with the government and with organisations such as NALC to take forward this agenda, as we develop our Future Council vision for 2020. One approach might be to develop devolution deals within the city, unleashing the creativity and ideas in our communities.
“In 2018 we will reach a watershed in Birmingham’s local government when we move to smaller one or two member wards and a four year election cycle. By then we will have a fully established combined authority and we may also have an elected mayor for the West Midlands.
“But it’s essential that we also develop a new approach to local democracy and local services at the most local level. That will enable us to put in place a bottom up neighbourhood democracy, unique in urban Britain.
“So, there are exciting times ahead in Birmingham. We have a vision for a new approach to local government and parish councils can be at the heart of that vision. We are ready to make radical changes and to challenge the old way of doing things. I want Birmingham to remain at the forefront of innovation in local democracy and to regain its global reputation for good local government.”
Chairman of NALC, Cllr Ken Browse, welcomed Sir Albert’s move, saying: “NALC warmly welcomes the support of Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council and this local authority for parish and town councils both nationally and locally. We, like Sir Albert, want all principal authorities to work closely with parishes to develop very local devolution deals. In Birmingham and other major cities, there are really positive and exciting opportunities for communities to become part of bottom up activism through local democracy.”
The City Council has already called for local people and communities to come forward with their ideas about how local services and local democracy should work in the future and for proposals for further parish, neighbourhood or community councils.
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Read Sir Albert Bore’s speech in full: https://siralbertbore.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/national-association-of-local-councils-281015.doc