UK

Council revises its Business Charter to help construction industry workers

An update to Birmingham City Council’s Social Value Policy and the Birmingham Business Charter for Social Responsibility, designed to better align them to with the council’s priorities, are set to be presented to Cabinet on December 11.

The proposals before Cabinet also include the incorporation of a Construction Charter, covering key topics in the sector including:

  • Health and safety;
  • Employment and skills (to help address a shortage of workers in the sector);
  • Ethical practices.

Cllr Brett O’Reilly, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources at Birmingham City Council, said: “To ensure that everyone in Birmingham is best placed to benefit from the spending power of the city council, we must always ensure that every pound of taxpayer money is spent with the economic, social and environmental well-being of citizens in mind.

“Our Social Value policy and the Birmingham Business Charter for Social Responsibility have been tools that have done much to achieve progress on this front.

“More than two-thirds of £1.1billion we spent in 2016/17 went to Birmingham-based or branched suppliers. Of that £1.1billion, almost half (£501million) went to small and medium-sized businesses.

“Much of that money then remains in the local economy, supporting citizens and their families. But we cannot afford to stand still. The proposal to Cabinet will ensure that our policies and approaches are aligned to the council’s overall priorities, which will ensure that our spend is even more targeted and effective than ever before.”

The idea adopting a construction charter was first put forward to the council by Unite the union, which has agreed to Birmingham’s version which is being put to Cabinet for their endorsement next week.

Cllr O’Reilly added: “As a city, Birmingham is always changing, and wherever you are, there is always a construction project nearby – often with some sort of city council input.

“With major house building projects, industrial and commercial schemes and events such as the Commonwealth Games on the horizon, it is important to ensure the interests of those working in a sector that is hugely important for us are acknowledged.”

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