Care for EVERY child in the city – wherever they live

council house

Cllr John Clancy, leader of the city council, records good progress already being made with social care and education improvements. He adds that a joined-up approach to family support, learning, skills and employment, embedded in the community and the home will be developed, working with leaders across the public, private and voluntary sector. “Every Child, Every Citizen, Every Place Matters – this is not just a slogan but a promise that every school matters, and everyone in those schools matter”.

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A reader who spent many years teaching in what used to be called Birmingham’s social priority schools, in Hockley, Small Heath and Yardley Wood, welcomes Cllr Clancy’s inclusive approach and the assurance of careful monitoring of all schools, registered and unregistered, outlined in his message to the city’s residents by website and email alert. A report to the education scrutiny committee on this and other related subjects may be heard again here.

Many are hoping that, in future, the application of his innovative economic policies will ensure purposeful work for the young people who will have benefited from improved social care and education, in particular:

  • the proposed redirection of local government pension funds to invest in local infrastructure
  • the added support for enterprise and innovation and the recognition of the contribution made by large numbers of the city’s small and medium businesses, many family owned.

There is a welcome focus on the rejuvenation of the city’s forty wards, through a package of devolution measures transferring decision-making to the most local level.

A Green Deal

On Tuesday it is hoped that Birmingham City Council will approve a £59 million programme of investment into its stock of council properties, upgrading heating systems, insulating and replacing windows and roofs for around 5,800 homes. As Cllr John Cotton (cabinet member for Neighbourhood Management & Homes) said: “Not only will this substantially improve our tenants’ homes, but by replacing inefficient heating systems, we can further reduce the city’s carbon dioxide emissions and lower our tenants’ heating bills.”

The upturn in the city’s governance is being achieved despite serious cuts.  It has been reported that most of the extra cash set aside to help councils cope with funding changes – ‘transitional grants’ – are going to Conservative areas. This move appears to add an eighth strategy to the seven listed by Jeremy Corbyn in his Fabian Society address, ‘rigging’ the electoral system to hold on to power and increase a narrow majority by weakening opposition inside and outside parliament.

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