So what is the Kerslake Report?
“In July 2014, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council commissioned Sir Bob Kerslake to conduct an independent review of corporate governance in Birmingham City Council.”
Organised by Pauline Geoghegan from Politics in Brum I was asked to be part of a select panel to lead the first every debate about the reports’ findings. The evening was Chaired by Diane Kemp from Birmingham City University, and included alongside myself, Pauline Geoghegan of News in Brum, Sohail Hussain- West Midlands Youth Commissioner, Catherine Staite- Institute of Local Government at University of Birmingham and David Bailey, Professor of Industry at Aston University.
I was very impressed by the level of informed debate in the chamber from ordinary members of the public as well as councillors and interest groups. Debate focused around a few key recommendations led by thoughts from the panel and the findings and some damning verdicts into how Birmingham Governance and leadership was, by and large, inadequate.. But this is only the start of the debate, one that is desperately needed in Birmingham.
Pauline has done exceptionally well, fruits of her own efforts and expense organised because of the lack of debate following the report’s release- “We are bringing the city together to debate the topic the council won’t.” But it does leave the question as to why it has taken an individual to lead the call for debate and discussion. I cannot help but feel that in itself proves the dire situation the council leadership is in.