Birmingham rethinks approach to housing policy
The UK’s largest stock holding local authority has named its new cabinet – without a housing portfolio.
Birmingham Council’s Labour administration announced the city’s new cabinet at its annual general meeting yesterday (22 May).
Albert Bore was named the leader after Labour won control back from a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition in the local elections earlier this month. He will be responsible for the financial strategy for housing and regeneration programmes.
Steve Bedser was named the cabinet member for health and wellbeing, and he will be responsible for social care and the support of vulnerable adults.
Former Conservative cabinet member for housing John Lines has become the ceremonial Lord Mayor of the city. Voters rejected the idea of an elected mayor for the city on 3 May.
The plan is for housing management to be devolved from the 65,000-home landlord to the 10 constituencies in the city.
In its manifesto before the elections this month Labour said this was ‘in line with our broader commitment to the devolution of council services’.
It is devolving responsibility to constituencies and ward committees to give people influence over their neighbourhoods. ‘People want influence … over the problems that confront them when they step outside their front door,’ the Labour manifesto says.
It also pledged to: ‘Ensure that there is proper integration between housing management services and other services that are essential to the maintenance of local neighbourhoods, and with allocations and homelessness procedures that treat people with respect.’ The district committees are yet to be announced.