the plan of creating "team Birmingham" with the objective of uniting people in Birmingham behind promoting the city seems a welcome step forwards from the traditional arrogant role of the city council.
This does include sorting out all the failures in the services of the city council, but it is important to have a jointly shared direction.
A number of questions have been asked about the Concordat between the Liberal Democrats and
Conservatives on Birmingham City Council.
has the basic reasoning behind it and the policy statement.
A few points
- It is based upon consensus. Any policy changes need to be supported by both parties on the City Council. There has been no proposal for a staffing freeze or any commitment to a 0% Council Tax increase. We are trying to make the council more efficient
- Labour did have a deal last year ... with the tories. Clearly Labour would have been happier had they done the deal with the tories. They also offered us a shared cabinet, but I would not consider this because if we left them in power there would be no chance of honest elections in Birmingham.
The concordat puts Cllr Mike Whitby into the role of City Leader and me as Deputy City Leader. Sadly at the time of writing we have not managed to move into the offices because Labour decided to squat in them. Councillor Hugh Maccallion who has never been Deputy Council Leader decided to move into the Deputy Council Leader's office. This has been a bit of a nuisance as my office and Mike's are on different corners of the main Council Building. We have, however, still made some progress on sorting out the City Council.
I visited Hodge Hill twice today. In the morning we (Nicola Davies and I) visited a location which demonstrated
- The growth of anti-social behaviour under this Labour Government
- The failure of the Labour Council's repairs service and its inability to do repairs
- The massive housing crisis created by Labour in Birmingham and their inaction on voids
The location was a block of flats where someone set a chair on fire in the hall about 3-4 months ago and nothing has been done. Meanwhile there is an empty cytexed flat at the side whilst thousands of households are homeless.
Later in the day we met ex Labour Councillor Amir Khan who is backing Nicola Davies to win in Hodge Hill. Amir was a PJP candidate in Nechells in June 2004. He is, therefore, the second PJP candidate to call for people to support the Lib Dems rather than the SWP.
Nicola and I then visited Shard End Carnival. Labour may claim that they cannot find Nicola, but Labour supporters complained about us talking to local residents there. Residents raised concerns about Labour's Council budget leading to cuts in teacher numbers in at least one local school. Clearly now we are involved in the City Executive we need to sort out these problems caused by Labour.
Clearly the reason Labour cannot find Nicola is that they are not looking. I did, however, find Liam Byrne and bought his son a nice yellow hat which sadly then was covered in Labour stickers, but at least for a moment it was a nice colour.
I am pleased that I manage to provide such entertainment for people such as Tom Watson and Lib Dem Watch. Lib Dem Watch do tend to be somewhat selective in their quoting from my emails so I feel it entirely reasonable that I provide full details here.
Now and again I have a go at publishing a web log. Blogger seems a bit variable, but it may have now managed to get things right so I will have another go. It still comes up with odd error messages, but does seem to manage to publish things at the end.