Birmingham CC needs bold leadership to deliver finance plans, IIP advises

Birmingham City Council’s Independent Improvement Panel (IIP) has said the authority will need 'bold and tenacious' leadership to deliver its latest financial plans.

The IIP was put in place after Lord Kerslake published an independent review of the governance at the council in December 2014 and recommend that the panel be appointed to provide robust challenge and support confirmed council’s budget plans were ‘reasonably credible, robust and theoretically deliverable’.

However, the letter also highlights additional risks, which ‘threaten the achievement of financial sustainability,’ including the introduction of a new future operating model, which will require ‘bold, focused, suitably experienced and tenacious managerial leadership’.

John Crabtree, chair of the IIP panel, said: “We are pleased that new financial plans are now in place, and these are more robust and credible.

“The plans and strategies, however, will not be easy to implement. Some implementation timetables are still extremely ambitious and the risks to achieving fully effective delivery are high.”

Responding to the report, council leader, Cllr John Clancy, said: “I am pleased that the panel believes the council’s 2017/18 budget proposals to be credible and robust and has identified improved arrangements for monitoring the delivery of savings.

“The panel has noted that the Local Government Association-sponsored independent financial review team reported a strong resolve among senior managers and members to avoid the problems experienced in 2016/17.”