Birmingham City Council - Service Reviews 2013 explained
What are they and what do they mean
for me, my family and my friends?
What’s going on?
When people mention the Service Reviews they
are talking about the fact that Birmingham City
Council is going through all of the things it does to
try and see what could be changed to make things
If you ever read a newspaper, watch TV, listen to
the radio or even walk down the street you will
probably have heard that the British economy is in
a pretty bad way…
The population is growing, so there are more
people, particularly elderly people and children,
who need services from the government.
At the same time, the amount of money available
to the government is becoming less and less as it
tries to pay back money it has borrowed from other
countries in the past
One of the ways the government has chosen to try
and solve this difficult situation is by reducing the
amount of money they give to local authorities,
such as Birmingham City Council.
At the moment Birmingham City Council is
responsible for a wide range of services. They
range from collecting the bins, to organising the
German Christmas Market.
The council are made to do some of these things
by the law, but there are others which the council
has chosen to provide.
To give you an example, the council has to provide
Early Years places to all of the children in the city,
but the Outdoor Learning Service, which many of
those children could benefit from, is something
extra which the people who work for the council
and the local councillors have decided themselves
is important enough to spend money on.
But isn’t the Government
always trying to save
What makes this time any
In the past the council has been able to save
money by making things run more smoothly,
changing who they buy things from and reducing
the number of people working in their offices.
After all this there still isn’t enough money.
In fact, the cuts which are happening now are so
dramatic that the amount Birmingham City Council
spends has to be cut in half in a period of 7 years.
To try and make choices which are fair and which
will cause as little damage as possible to the lives
of people in Birmingham, the Council has decided
that three things must be at the heart of
conversations and decisions:
Fairness Prosperity Democracy
Protecting the most vulnerable people in our city;
this may mean children, people who are
disabled, homeless etc. Giving everybody the
chance to improve and enjoy their lives, even if
they are born into a group which is often left out
Trying to improve the way that people from
outside Birmingham view our city. Encouraging
people to come here by improving the way we
run things and making it easier for businesses to
do well so there will be more jobs.
Making sure that the views of local people are
heard and considered when decisions are being
made. This should make it easier to design
services in a way which will meet people’s
What do those things
actually mean for people
who live here?
The council have used these three priorities to
help them think about more specific things they
want to make sure happen here in the next few
Council wants to:
Support business and create jobs
Improve child protection Improve transport
Support children in care or who
have special needs
Provide new homes
Support troubled families
Make Birmingham more
Improve education Reduce energy bills
Encourage healthy lifestyles
Use new technology, like ultrafast
broadband, to make life in the city
Improve care for older people and
give them more independence
Give people a say in how their
services are run
That sounds like quite a
lot to get done if there’s
not much money…!
YES! WE KNOW!
That’s why we need you, your friends, your
family and everyone in Birmingham to help us.
The council are asking local people to speak up for
the services which they can’t do without, tell us
which ones they could and make suggestions
about how things could be done differently.
• Give us any ideas about how we could do things
• Spare any time to volunteer in your community?
• Tell us about community organisations which
provide similar services?
• Use your skills to help your community and your
Here are a few general ideas for
• Reducing the amount of money or materials
• Passing a service from the council to a charity or
• Joining services together
• Helping people avoid problems so a service
won’t be needed as much
• Stopping a service
There are loads of ways to have
your voice heard:
Go to your local Ward Committee Meeting or contact
your local councillor (see www.birmingham.gov.uk)
Give your views online at www.birminghambeheard.org.uk
Text the word ‘Budget’, followed by a space to 07786200403
Write to Service Reviews, Rm 221, Council House, B1 1BB
Find us on Facebook or Google+ (search for Birmingham City Council)
Follow BhamCityCouncil on Twitter
The nature of Birmingham City Council is
changing. Please help to make that change a
positive one by getting involved in how we live
together in our city.
Find out more about the service reviews at
Thank you so much for reading and we look
forward to hearing from you!