• Thursday , 23 November 2017

Working in Partnership

A council leader’s life is full of meetings of one kind or another, but some are a lot more important than others. I suspect that one I had last week will prove over time to be just that.

It was a joint session between Sandwell’s Cabinet – in other words, the council’s political leadership – and the new management board of top directors, the council’s most senior officials.  One thing was obvious to me from the meeting, we now have a management team which is working in total partnership with the political leadership. And that’s all to the good because I believe the council’s future success will depend on the two groups working hand in glove through what are going to be very difficult times.

We all know the scale of the financial problems Sandwell faces – starting with a like-for-like cut of something over £30 million in the cash support we get from the Government for the 2011/12 financial year which starts on 1 April. That’s a massive, not to say unprecedented, cut, but the meeting re-affirmed that in the face of it we have to put the residents of Sandwell first and foremost in all we do.

That means doing everything we can to protect the frontline services and jobs that residents depend upon.
I’m convinced that even given our budget difficulties we can still realise our ambition for Sandwell and become an excellent council in two years.

It’s going to be hard – but it’s achievable.

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  • Mick Davies January 25, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Hi Darren whilst being thankful that we now have a political leadership and a management team working in partnership toward our vision. Given the Council is more than the political leadership and the management team, there are 60 odd backbench councillors who also play a role in the Council, scrutiny etc. Also the role of Labour Group in helping to formulate policy and priorities, How do you intend to engage with these groups if at all.

  • darrencooper January 25, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Hi Mick
    I think you more than most know that I have an open door policy as Leader of the Council. And the party as process in place to ensure members views are heard and listened to, at the highest level. But we can always do more to improve on that.
    I am sure you are aware the LGC will be holding a policy conference in the near future. And I am proud to say that we have delivered on the promises we set in last years manifesto which were set as you know by the Party.

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