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Birmingham launches bid to bolster 'stretched' senior management

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Birmingham City Council has started its bid to boost its management capacity - 10 days after the local authority was accused of dragging its feet on recruiting senior staff.

LGC previously reported how a mid-year report by the independent improvement panel, installed after Lord Kerslake’s review of the council in the wake of last year’s ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal, had found Birmingham’s senior management continued to be “extremely stretched”. Concerns were expressed in the report that improvements would not be made unless the council increased its “strategic capacity”.

The city council is now seeking to recruit an assistant chief executive on a two-year fixed contract with a salary of between £82,000 and £91,000. A strategic director for change and corporate services, a permanent role with an annual salary of between £138,000 and £153,000, is also being sought.

A new assistant director for business change, on a salary of £78,000 to £87,000, is also required.

It is anticipated the appointments to these roles will be made by early October and the successful applicants will take up their posts no later than early 2016.

Meanwhile, the city council is also seeking a replacement for the recently-retired strategic director for place Sharon Lea (salary of £138,000 to £153,000), as well as a new director for employment and skills. The person who takes on that role will support both Birmingham City Council and Solihull MBC, which together will jointly fund the £90,882 to £100,980 salary, as well as the proposed West Midlands Combined Authority.

In a statement Ian Ward (Lab), deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We have made it clear we will do everything necessary to deliver the organisational change that is required to ensure that the council functions as effectively as possible for the citizens it serves. We are doing this at the pace needed to address speedily the challenges the council faces and to ensure we make the right decisions.

“These roles will make a significant contribution towards making the changes we need to be ready to tackle the challenges of the future.”

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