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Senior council director steps down in management shake-up

Mark Barrow, the authority’s strategic director for development and culture, will step down on January 31, while fellow director Paul Dransfield has been named deputy chief executive

Mark Barrow, strategic director of development at Birmingham City Council

One of the most senior officers at Birmingham City Council is stepping down as part of a top-level restructure that will see a new chief executive brought on board.

Mark Barrow, the authority’s strategic director for development and culture, will step down on January 31.

It comes after Solihull Council’s chief executive Mark Rogers was named the new chief at Birmingham. Mr Rogers has also been make the director of economy in a shaken up management structure, while Paul Dransfield, strategic director for resources, has been made deputy chief executive.

In a letter seen by the Post, Mr Barrow said it was the right time to leave.

The letter states: “As part of these changes we are restructuring the senior management team; which has given me an opportunity to consider my own future.”

It adds: “Having worked with you for over three years, I am proud of what we have all achieved in terms of the investment, development and growth in confidence of Birmingham as a place to do business. The economy of the city is on a path to growth and I am delighted to have been part of that journey with you.”

Mr Barrow, a former chief executive of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, was brought into Birmingham in 2010 following the departure of well-known regeneration director Clive Dutton.

He played a major role in an efficiency drive to see council land holdings used more efficiently, and supported the city’s inward investment work.

Mr Barrow, who has a regeneration and property background and has been an active member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, is rumoured to have expressed an interest in the current chief executive vacancy in Birmingham.

The council restructure follows the departure of current chief Stephen Hughes, who is retiring from the role paying about £200,000 a year, at the end of next month.

Amid falling income, the council is cutting two senior director jobs as part of a restructuring of the management team.

Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Local government is undergoing fundamental change and, in times of austerity, it is absolutely right that we reshape the council, including senior management, to meet new ways of structuring and delivering services.”

The number of city council directorates has reduced from five to three and the number of senior officers from six to four. Peter Hay now heads-up the new ‘People’ directorate, which includes children’s services; and Sharon Lea the new ‘Place’ directorate, delivering localisation.

 

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