You may have thought that Councillor Ian Ward has been leader for a few weeks, but he was formally confirmed at a full meeting of the council yesterday along with his deputy Councillor Brigid Jones.
Cllr Ward has also announced his Cabinet, with Councillor Carl Rice added to the ranks with the vacancy created by Cllr John Clancy’s departure and the promotion of councillors Ward and Jones.
Cllr Carl Rice becomes Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Schools, effectively taking over the brief from Cllr Jones.
The veteran Labour councillor was Lord Mayor last year and had been Deputy Mayor this year. That role will now be taken over by Cllr Shafique Shah.
Cllr Rice will be responsible for children’s services, safeguarding children and young people, corporate parenting, education and wellbeing of children and young people. He inherits what has been, to say the least, a challenging brief but arrives with an improving performance, according to Ofsted, and as the council prepares to hand over the running of children’s services to a trust.
Other cabinet members remain unchanged, though two portfolios have been renamed: Value for Money and Efficiency is renamed Commercialism, Commissioning and Contracting; and Transparency, Openness and Equality becomes Community Safety and Equalities. W1A may have finished its run on the BBC, but its spirit is obviously alive and well at BCC.
Cllr Ward will retain responsibility for the budget and financial strategy. He will also keep his responsibilities for sports and events development as well as working with “cultural organisations of citywide, regional or national significance” in terms of city promotion and inward investment, two areas which he has been associated with for most of his time on Cabinet.
The new deputy leader’s portfolio includes human resources, shaping the future workforce of the council along with change programmes. She will also take up responsibility for arts and culture and tourism, Library of Birmingham and community libraries and museums. She will retain oversight of the move to the Children’s Trust until at least next April.
The full list of the cabinet is :
Cllr Ian Ward – Leader
Cllr Brigid Jones – Deputy Leader
Cllr Carl Rice – Children, Families and Schools
Cllr Majid Mahmood – Commercialism, Commissioning and Contracting
Cllr Stewart Stacey – Transport and Roads
Cllr Lisa Trickett – Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment
Cllr Paulette Hamilton – Health and Social Care
Cllr Peter Griffiths – Housing and Homes
Cllr Brett O’Reilly – Jobs and Skills
Cllr Tristan Chatfield – Community Safety and Equalities.