Birmingham Policy Community

A Prosperous City

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    Integrated city region economic development functions

    The Heseltine review and the Government’s response both point towards increasingly close integration of local authority resources dedicated to economic development and growth. Our own service review has pointed to the potential for making savings and supporting a more integrated city regional approach. This will need to be the subject of close consultation with our partner authorities and other stakeholders such as government agencies, departments and the business community. What models could best deliver the economic development functions we need in the future and how could these be funded?

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    An entrepreneurial approach to economic development

    This is linked closely to PDT 7 (integrated city region economic development functions). Our economy focused services need to become more enterprising – forging new partnerships, generating income and wherever possible becoming self-financing. We are interested in exploring examples of how this has been achieved.

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    Levering alternative sources of capital investment

    The landscape of infrastructure investment has been changing for some time, with a world of public sector grants and speculative investment making way for a complex mix of innovative approaches. We need to look at alternative ways of stimulating private investment to build an infrastructure for the city region, which will give us an enhanced global standing. We need to research how we can become a hub where individuals, businesses and communities can thrive and deliver prosperity for the region. We need to create a long-term plan, which will lead the city region to be an economic base capable of competing with global powerhouses.

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    Driving economic growth and job creation by closing the skills gap

    Birmingham needs skills matched to our ambitions for the future. As a partnership between the private and public sector, ‘Delivering Growth’ the LEP’s vision and strategy for growth, sets out a clear focus on six strategic enablers. One of these is focused on ‘improving our skills talent pool’, and recognises our skills ecosystem needs radical reform and a better alignment between employers and providers within a partnership that helps create a demand-led skills system.

    We are interested in understanding how we can best create this demand-led skills system. We are also interested in understanding how we can ensure that Birmingham’s schools and colleges are the best in the country at preparing young people for the world of work. For example, allowing employers to influence curriculum content. To do this we need to develop and foster relationships between schools, agencies, commissioners, employers and individuals. Are there any global best practice examples, which we can learn from? How can we move forward with our ambitions for the region?

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    The role of schools in the 21st century

    Our world is changing, and in order to prepare our children for this new world we need to change the way we educate them. In the 21st century educators must create a curriculum that will help students connect and understand the issues that our world faces. We need answer questions such as: what does 21st century learning look like? Where is it happening and what skills do children need in order to order to be successful in the 21st century?

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    The future role of the city council in education

    Schools are changing and becoming more diverse and more independent. But at the same time there is a need for partnership working between schools and service providers and the council will retain a limited strategic role in ensuring appropriate school provision, regulating admissions and ensuring services are available for those young people with special needs. Alongside the comprehensive review of our children’s services we have just launched, we need to define more clearly the future role of the city council in supporting schools and wider education services in the city. How does this role link to our Economy function and to the aim of more integrated “neighbourhood services”.

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    Linkages between growth and jobs and local service provision

    The two roles of city government in supporting economic prosperity and ensuring the provision of services that support social cohesion are inextricably linked.  Successful cities need good governance, quality public services and a strong civic society as well as a successful economy.  We need to explore the economic value of our public services and the ways in which business activity can link more closely to social provision.

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    Developing the youth offer

    Birmingham has the youngest population in Europe. Our young population should be an asset in which we invest; yet the current figures show that too many do not have the opportunity to grow, thrive and achieve the great things of which they are capable. We need to ensure that all young people have the tools and opportunities they need to fulfil their potential, regardless of background or life circumstances. It is important that we develop a clear ‘offer’ to ensure we help all of Birmingham’s young people. To do this we need to identify what is already available to young people in the city and develop mechanisms that allow all young people from across the city to engage better to give them more power and influence over their lives and the services they use. We need to explore practical options to increase engagement and integration e.g. a one-stop hub and identify how we can best use technology to engage more affectively.

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    Linkages between growth and jobs and local service provision

    The two roles of city government in supporting economic prosperity and ensuring the provision of services that support social cohesion are inextricably linked. Successful cities need good governance, quality public services and a strong civic society as well as a successful economy. We need to explore the economic value of our public services and the ways in which business activity can link more closely to social provision.

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    Models and vehicles for investing in the “Green City"

    Our carbon roadmap sets out a strategic plan that highlights the key initiatives that Birmingham will aim to complete to ensure:

    • The city achieves its vision of becoming a leading green city
    • A reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent by 2027.

    The key priority areas of the roadmap include: how should Birmingham be heated and powered in the future? How should we travel and get around the city? How can we improve the energy efficiency and affordable warmth of buildings? And how can we create decarbonised local energy generation capacity? How can we make sure that Birmingham achieves its vision of becoming a leading green city?

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    How a “Smart City” can deliver more for less

    We are clear that Birmingham’s road to being a Smart City will involve radical change in the technologies and information we use to deliver service outcomes. We want to develop our Smart City vision and roadmap to come forward with clear, practical proposals for the application of new technologies in public services. How can technologies allow people to tailor the services they use (and those they contribute to) to their own needs? What sort of information management and open data strategy will we need?

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    The future of waste management

    To be updated.

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