It comes as a surprise to most that about two thirds of the city council's £3 billion budget is spent on looking after the very old or very young in our city.
While most get worked up about bins, the state of the roads or library closing times, much of the local authority's work goes unnoticed.
A massive chunk of this are the social care services - looking after and supporting vulnerable children, disabled people and the elderly.
These services have been broadly protected from the most brutal council cuts compared to other services.
This is partly because the city is legally obliged to care for its most vulnerable and partly because the effect of cuts to these services is life-threatening.
Demand for these services has also increased as people stay older for longer while, despite some recent bumps through council tax rises, the funding has failed to keep pace.
Some have described Birmingham City Council as a social care provider which happens to empty bins and fix potholes as a sideline.
Cuts are difficult here, but some large figures - up to £90 million savings - have been bandied around in recent years and mostly justified on efficiencies through closer working with the NHS to end costly practices such as bed blocking and keeping people fitter longer to prevent costly hospital admissions down the line.
The trouble is one wonders if the NHS was signed up to that as it, too, has faced financial woes.
The failure to deliver on promises here was a key factor in the council's overspending in recent years.
So the latest attempt involves the enablement service - a small but crucial service which helps people recover at home for a few weeks after they leave hospital, freeing up beds.
The council claimed it only had a 20 per cent success rate compared to other large city councils with 90 per cent plus successes and decided on an overhaul which would save money and be more effective.
Covering home visits from 7am to 10pm had proved difficult, with lots of downtime in between so bosses decided that all 283 staff should be part time - currently only 40 per cent are.
It means approximately 200 workers, mostly low-paid women, could lose hours and pay (unless they move to another part of the social care service).
Their union Unison says this will also impact on benefits like tax credits, hitting them further in the pocket.
So, they are embarking on 14 days of strike action over the next few weeks.
Last year, a few hundred binmen brought the city to a standstill and toppled a council leader during their successful industrial action which followed the threat to cut responsibility and pay for many.
It is unlikely these social care workers will be able to have the same impact.
Their work is carried out away from the public eye and presumably shifts will be filled with agency carers.
The carers have been in dispute with the city council since late last year.
As one union member has pointed out, the council can do a deal for the binmen so why can't it do one for a group of low-paid women?
Sutton Coldfield Town Hall
As someone who covered the campaign to save Sutton Coldfield Town Hall from closure or sale in the mid-1990s, it is fantastic to see that, after years of under-investment, a rescue plan now appears to be in place.
Like many other listed buildings in this city, such as Highbury Hall and the Moseley Road Baths, it has been neglected by the city council over many years, leaving it with huge repair and renovation bills.
And, like those buildings, the answer has been to hand them over to a local charitable trust which, unlike the city council, would not be liable for business rates and able to lever in different sources of funding.
Thanks to its focus, the fledgling trust has already improved use of the town hall with 11 extra wedding bookings and more theatre productions.
It is a fantastic facility and better off being run by people who care, rather than being ignored as it has been.
In 2009, the then council cabinet member for housing, Coun John Lines, unveiled the plan to relaunch council house building in Birmingham.
For the first time in a generation, the council became directly involved in bricks and mortar at a time when the private construction industry was in a slump.
The aim was to build 500 homes a year.
Almost a decade later, the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust completed its 3,000th house.
It is only just now reaching that rate of construction with current cabinet member Coun Sharon Thompson confirming plans to complete 2,000 homes over the next four years.
But, given the desperate need for new housing and the growing length of the council waiting list, shouldn't it be aiming for many more?
The city council is up to its old tricks again, bewildering punters with its prying questions about their sexual orientation.
Five years ago, a survey on the rollout of wheelie bins asked residents if they were gay, straight or bisexual - or prefer not to say.
Now, those commuters commenting on the plans for a clean air zone are getting the same quiz.
It is part of the standard city's equalities monitoring questions alongside religion, ethnic background and age.
But one wonders if there is any point to this - except to leave people confused.