Birmingham: The following changes to the city council’s cabinet have today been announced:
- Cllr Sharon Thompson becomes Cabinet Member for Vulnerable Children and Families.
- Cllr Shabrana Hussain joins the cabinet as Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods
- Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities, will now take on the responsibility for Bereavement Services and Registrar Services.
Cllr Sharon Thompson has vowed to put children, families and carers at the heart of her work after being named Birmingham City Council’s new Cabinet Member for Vulnerable Children and Families.
Cllr Thompson, who previously held the Homes and Neighbourhoods brief, will spearhead the council’s response to the recent joint local area Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) report and is determined to speed up the pace of change and improvement.
In addition to SEND, the new role will cover safeguarding children and young people, children’s services, early years and corporate parenting. Cllr Thompson will also continue to oversee the council’s work with a wide range of partners to tackle homelessness.
The newly named role of Cabinet Member for Vulnerable Children and Families replaces the role of Cabinet Member for Children’s Wellbeing. This is a move which reflects the council’s commitment to prevention and early intervention to reduce the likelihood of vulnerable children and families falling into crisis.
Cllr Thompson said: “I’m absolutely determined to deliver the best possible outcomes for all children, young people, carers and parents in Birmingham and I will work with partners locally and nationally to get this right.
“In my work tackling homelessness, I’ve always been keen to give a voice to the voiceless and I will continue to do that, listening to the people at the very heart of our services as I tackle the challenges ahead.”
New cabinet member Cllr Shabrana Hussain, who has previously chaired the Economy and Skills Overview & Scrutiny Committee, has sat on Birmingham City Council since 2016 and represents the Sparkbrook & Balsall Heath East ward.
Cllr Hussain said: “It is a great privilege to have been appointed as the Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods. This is an exciting portfolio and I will work hard to build on the Councillor Thompson’s legacy in the role. I am aware of the challenges that face us here in Birmingham, such as the rise of poor-quality Exempt Accommodation, and a shortfall in housing across the city. I will work closely with partners across the city, and across the country, to tackle these challenges and build a better Birmingham for us all.”
Announcing the new appointments, council leader Cllr Ian Ward said: “Cllr Thompson has achieved a great deal as Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods and I have every confidence that she will bring the same energy and commitment to her new role.
“It’s very clear that we need to rebuild trust, particularly with the parents and carers of children with SEND, and through her work with Government and a range of partners, Cllr Thompson has shown she has the skills and experience needed to improve outcomes for some of the most vulnerable people in Birmingham.
“I’m delighted to welcome Cllr Hussain into the Cabinet. She is a hard-working local councillor who has shown the commitment and integrity required to make an excellent cabinet member.”