Birmingham City Council chief executive Mark Rogers has announced he will be leaving the local authority.
He was appointed as chief executive of the UK’s largest local authority by then leader Sir Albert Bore (Lab) in 2013 and previously held the top post at Solihull MBC. He has also served as president of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executive & Senior Mangers.
Mr Rogers said: “Birmingham City Council has been on a challenging journey of improvement and reform over the past three years and I am hugely proud of the team I have worked with to deliver much needed changes in culture, practice and performance.
“I leave the council in a much stronger position than when I joined it and, with the proposed budget and transformation plans set out for the next two years, now is a good time to pass on the baton. I look forward to my colleagues future successes as I know that they can build on firm foundations and continue the modernisation journey we have started together.”
Mr Rogers, who was placed number 15 in LGC’s latest list of the 100 most influential people in local government, remains in post at present and no date has been set for his departure.
Leader John Clancy (Lab) said: “I’d like to thank Mark for his hard work and commitment over the past three years during what has been the most difficult and challenging of times for Birmingham City Council. I wish Mark all the very best for the future.”
Opposition leader Robert Alden (Con) said Mr Rogers’ departure was “hardly a surprise given the amount of time he appeared to spend externally trying to build a national profile, compared to being in the city trying to fix our many problems”. He added: “After years of improvement notices something at Birmingham City Council had to change.”
Cllr Alden said that once Mr Rogers had gone the Labour administration would have “nowhere left to hide from the mismanagement of the council, whether it is £67m overspends in directorates, failing children services or failed partnerships” such as those with the sustainability and transformation plans and NHS.
Timeline: Mark Rogers at Birmingham
Sir Albert Bore (Lab) returns as leader after eight years of Conservative/Lib Dem administration
Ofsted reports on ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal over school governance and Mr Rogers, who has only been in his role three months, says direct government intervention is “off the table”. Commissioners are sent in to Birmingham to oversee changes.
Speaking as Solace president, Mr Rogers says communities secretary Sir Eric Pickles “has run his course and some”, and councils were “no longer intimidated” by him.
Sir Eric sets up an improvement panel for Birmingham in wake of the Lord Kerslake review recommendations, which found Birmingham faced “significant challenges” to balance its budget in 2015-16 and beyond.
A lack of senior management capacity and political leadership identified by the city’s improvement panel as putting progress at risk. Mr Rogers says he was sceptical that Birmingham could meet its statutory duties over the next five years due to a lack of money.
Mr Rogers’ departure is announced.