Category Archives: News

There is no place in Birmingham for hatred or intolerance

As the Football Lads Alliance prepare to protest in Birmingham this weekend, we wish to make it clear that there is no place in our city for hatred or intolerance.

If you hold extremist views and plan to stir-up trouble in our city, you are not welcome.

Birmingham is proud to be a diverse, open, tolerant and welcoming city. It is a city where people from all backgrounds, neighbourhoods and communities are united.

Whenever extremists try to divide us they quickly discover that there is no room in this city for extremist views or hatred.

Birmingham will not be divided and, while people have every right to counter-protest, we expect all protests to be carried out in a peaceful, legal and non-confrontational manner.

Birmingham City Council is working closely with West Midlands Police this week to ensure that visitors to the city centre can go about their business as usual on Saturday.

We are also aware that on Saturday, Justice for the 21 will be highlighting their ongoing quest for answers about the Birmingham pub bombings and must stress that we continue to support the families of the victims.

Cllr Ian Ward – Labour Leader of Birmingham City Council

Cllr Robert Alden – Leader of the Birmingham City Council Conservative Group

Cllr Jon Hunt – Leader of the Birmingham City Council Liberal Democrats Group

You spoke, we listened: Council to set 2018/19 budget

Birmingham City Council will increase investment in housing, social care and cleaner, greener streets despite having to make a further £53 million in cuts for the 2018/19 budget.

And, in response to the budget consultation, residents face a lower than anticipated council tax increase.

The proposed 2018/19 budget will be taken to Cabinet on 13 February, with changes to the original proposals including:

  • Reducing the Council Tax increase to 3.99%, including 1% through the social care precept
  • No increase to burial and cremation fees
  • No longer proceeding with plans to charge for library book reservations

The proposed budget also includes additional investment of £70.7 million in 2018/19, including £30.4 million for adult social care and a £468 million Council Housing Capital Programme over the next four years, including £196 million for new homes and regeneration. There are also proposals to invest £0.2 million in measures to tackle fly-posting across the city.

Council Leader Cllr Ian Ward said: “We have listened and, even at a time of continuing Government cuts, we are investing in the services that matter most to the people of Birmingham.

“It’s also clear that many households are struggling with the increased cost of living, so the council tax increase will now be lower than the one we consulted on.

“Government funding for the services that people across Birmingham rely on has been cut by almost £650 million since 2010 and sadly we anticipate having to make further cuts of £123 million by 2021/22.

“We have to make cuts of £53 million for 2018/19 and inevitably that has meant having to make some difficult decisions.

“Those decisions have been informed by the people of this city and I would like to thank everyone who took time to have a say in our consultation.”

The budget will now be taken to Cabinet on 13 February, before going to Full Council on 27 February for final approval. The Cabinet report and draft budget document can be read here.

The Business Secretary must urgently review GKN takeover bid

GKN flag

Yesterday Cabinet Member for Jobs and Skills Cllr Brett O’Reilly and I wrote to Business Secretary Greg Clark, urging him to review the proposed takeover of GKN by Melrose.

As one of the city region’s anchor employers, GKN plays an important role in the Midlands and Birmingham economy. It employs large number of workers, sources components from supply chains that benefit the economy, delivers exports for the region and the country, supports key assemblers like JLR, and continues to invest heavily in the future driveline technology needed by electric cars.

GKN operations in the city region include not only GKN head office at Redditch but also GKN Freight Services (Redditch), GKN Aerospace Services (Birmingham), GKN Driveline (Birmingham), GKN Driveline Services (Sutton Coldfield) and – not far away – GKN Wheels & Structures (Shropshire).

You can see our letter here.