Published: 7th Feb 2011

I was born into local government and brought up to love it. Not its pomposity, ceremony or status but its capacity to change peoples lives. It may seem strange even to those involved in providing local services that anyone could have a romantic attachment to this perplexing, eccentric sector but that’s the way it is. In this column I want to explore my love affair with local government, but also to give an insight into what it is like to lead an urban authority with more than its fair share of challenges and opportunities. This will be a view from the trenches as we deal with the crisis facing local government, but I also hope to give a more long-term perspective as we attempt to redefine our mission. My father was a councillor in Birmingham in the 1960s, representing St Paul’s, the same ward that Joseph Chamberlain served. He instilled … (To read the full article, subscribe below)