Birmingham's progress has ground to a halt and the council is largely to blame, a leading business lobbyist warned today.
Lawyer Andrew Sparrow, deputy chairman of Birmingham Forward, claimed major projects like the new library and much needed transport improvements had been stalled by the ruling Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition's "culture of indecision".
And he attacked council leader Mike Whitby for failing to get behind the call for a directly elected Mayor.
Mr Sparrow said the group needed to inject urgency into its agenda across a range of policy issues in a bid to get the city moving again.
He warned: "Birmingham has become a city halted and many in the business community are growing frustrated at the loss of momentum.
"I have had numerous people approach me over several months from business circles all questioning the lack of decision-making on the part of the city council. Their concerns are shared by others.
"From the ill-fated proposals for an underground system, always seen as wholly unrealistic in terms of cost, to the library plans, and, just this week, the threat to the Royal College of Organists' relocation to Eastside, the culture of indecision has become ingrained.
"The problem is coming at a critical time, just as Government is looking at a number of core cities in the country and hearing evidence from each as to why their respective agendas must be given expression and assistance where possible. Only two weeks ago David Miliband, Minister of Communities and Local Government, came to Birmingham to meet with local politicans and members of the business community.
"The case for Birmingham was articulated very well by business leaders which is why the current malaise on the part of the council is very worrying.
"Birmingham cannot afford to founder in the back wash of Manchester and other centres as they power ahead with development. The city needs to benchmark against the best in Europe and I have a strong sense that we are witnessing the slow undoing of valuable efforts in that direction."
Mr Sparrow continued: "The business community has given the current administration a long period to bed in but after 16 months there is little sign of things changing.
"In the best interests of Birmingham it has been felt that vocal criticism would not benefit advancement. However, there has to come a time when refusing to comment is not in the interests of the city. Sometimes you need to ask impertinent questions in order to get pertinent answers. That time is now."
Saying Birmingham was effectively " blighted" he warned the situation threatened investment. "Investment goes where it knows its wanted and where it can flourish. If the city appears uncertain, then it risks jeopardising that investment."
He charged: " The city council is becomming the architect of its own misfortune.
"Rather than refusing to carry through certain policies of the previous administration just because they were the previous administration is misguided. There are bound to be policy diffrences and I can respect a different emphasis, but the strategy is not working.
"The constant objection to the proposition of an elected Mayor for Birmingham by the leader of the council is increasingly looking misplaced. The council should read the ruens and recognise that elected mayor's are going to soon be back on the agenda."