A 20-year action plan which promises to create prosperity for all and to meet the "demanding and diverse" challenges facing Birmingham has been launched by the city council.
The Birmingham Prospectus sets out a long term strategy to secure Birmingham's position as a leading world city and as a place in which people wish to live, learn and work, according to council leader Mike Whitby.
Drawn up in conjunction with business leaders and representatives from the voluntary and faith sectors, the prospectus has been almost a year on the drawing board.
It will be approved by the cabinet on Monday, nearly 12 months after stakeholders met at the ICC to debate initial proposals. A second ICC conference in November last year approved draft proposals, which are about to be rubber stamped by council leaders.
The prospectus sets out seven themes: Birmingham a growing global city; the Birmingham brand; Birmingham the talented and diverse city; one Birmingham; business Birmingham; Birmingham's sustainable journey.
Priorities include:n Redeveloping New Street Station and expanding Birmingham International Airportn Growing the population of Birmingham by 10 per centn Diversifying the economy – creating a science city producing environmental and medical technologiesn Establishing a new creative and cultural quarter in Digbethn Developing major new urban centres by promoting economic growth in Longbridge, Northfield and east Birminghamn Promoting a united and clear Birmingham brand on the global stage.
Coun Whitby (Con Harborne) said: "The prospectus will inject pace and propel Birmingham along the pathway set out in the Community Strategy, securing local prosperity and a global position in a rapidly changing world.
"We now have a strong foundation on which to build a global city with a local heart. I am confident that working together, we can continue on the road to excellence and provide real improvement for Birmingham."
Several working groups and strategic bodies will be set up to progress the seven themes of the prospectus.
A report on potential options for releasing equity from council land and properties in order to drive regeneration will be produced by October this year.
A strategy and action plan to encourage a "vibrant enterprise culture" in Birmingham will be published in December. The prospectus was attacked by Labour opposition leader Sir Albert Bore for its "lack of detail" and the length of time taken to produce it.
Sir Albert (Lab Ladywood) said it had taken the council's Tory-Lib Dem coalition almost three years to produce something that lacked vision or any meaningful timetable for implementation.
The prospectus was an attempt to address the Audit Commission's concerns about the poor quality of council leadership, he said.
Sir Albert added: "If there was any leadership in Birmingham, then it wouldn't have taken almost three years to get to this point."
Is there a dynamic future ahead? Here's how the council plan of action is mapped out:
Jan 2006 – Plan for first city summit announced
Mar 2006 – First summit held, vision statement discussed
Nov 2006 – Second summit discusses draft prospectus
Dec 2006 – Cabinet approves draft prospectus
Jan 2007 – Birmingham Strategic Partnership approves draft prospectus
Feb 2007 – Cabinet approves prospectus
Apr 2007 – High-level Birmingham branding group formed
Apr 2007 – Working group on provision of retail formed
Jun 2007 – Study into Digbeth Creative Quarter
Jul 2007 – Science city progress
Oct 2007 – Report potential for land and buildings equity release
Dec 2007 – Prepare enterprise culture action plan
Apr 2008 – Adopt sustainable community strategy
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