I’ve just finished reading this weeks Birmingham Post. In the paper, there is an article from ex Cllr Martin Mullaney (why an earth the Post wants him to write a column is beyond me). He attacks the new Labour Administration for cutting the number of cabinet posts – including his old post of Cabinet Member for Leisure Sport & Culture. I spent a short period of the last municipal year as Labour’s Lead on the portfolio’s Scrutiny Committee. During that time I honestly wondered what Mullaney was doing to earn his Special Responsibility Allowance. Most of the Leisure element of his portfolio had been devolved. He now states that Sir Albert Bore is wrong to scrap his old post and it will impact on Sport & Culture in the City. How wrong can a man be? Labour has broken down the silo mentality that existed between departments which will allow Cabinet Members and Officers to work across the old boundaries to deliver efficient services, advertise Birmingham’s strengths and for the first time in 8 years, sell Birmingham as the highly cultural and diverse city it is.
If Martin is still unsure of how we are delivering his old portfolio, he should read the press release below:
Contact: Labour Group Office
Labour_Secretariat@birmingham.gov.uk Tel: 0121 303 2039 Fax: 0121 303 2787
For immediate use
18 May 2012
Arts, Culture and Sports Summit called by new Labour leadership
Arts, Culture and Sports will take centre stage in Birmingham Labour’s City Council agenda with the calling of an Arts, Culture and Sports Summit.
The Summit will bring together arts and sporting organisations across the city. Its remit will be to see how the City Council and its partners can encourage the development of arts, culture and sport in Birmingham. The Summit will also be asked to examine how the leisure sector can be an attraction for inward investment and the creation of jobs and career opportunities.
Labour in Birmingham believe arts, culture and sport are critical factors for the city’s future economic and social success. Sir Albert Bore, Leader elect of the City Council will take personal responsibility for the strategic direction. Deputy Leader elect Ian Ward will oversee the city’s arts, culture and sport budget, with the Cabinet Member for Commissioning, Contracting & Improvement Stewart Stacey ensuring that the city’s arts and sport budget is effectively used by organisations receiving grants for the City Council.
The City Council’s radical devolution plan will also ensure that many decisions about arts and sports funding are made at a local level, in District Committees.
Sir Albert Bore commented, “Over the last few years the steam has run out of the City Council’s commitment to arts, culture and sports. We are not making the best of the many opportunities inherited from the past. For example we have not one major international sporting event planned for the City in the years beyond 2012. We need to start working now to attract visitors and create jobs.
“We know there has been growing frustration amongst those who value arts and sports across the City. Our Summit will give them an opportunity to advise the City Council on how we can reinvigorate the cultural and sporting life of the city.
“Labour has created a unique structure where three members of the Cabinet have arts and sports promotion as part of their portfolios, and with District Committees given the opportunity to develop arts and sports as they see fit for their local communities. This is a new era and we want to work in partnership with those who have knowledge and expertise in these fields”, he added.