What is happening in ‘bankrupt’ Birmingham?
This has all stemmed from female council staff protesting that they were not giving enough bonuses which were traditionally done by males. The women of the town felt like they were not being treated fairly and were liable to more bonuses from the council since they were doing male jobs. Examples of these jobs were refuse collectors and street cleaners. Over 5,000 women protested and won the case for this and since then the council has paid out over 1.1billion in equal right payments and also have a bill of over 760 million pounds which is further increasing by 14 million every month. It was initially meant to cost 19 Million pounds but due to all the complications and delays the whole process was delayed for 3 years. This made it increase to 100 million.
The council was complaining about a few things that were affecting the budget at the same time these protests were going but the women’s council staff did not care. These other problems included the impacts of inflation and the demand for adult social care. All of this was affecting the town council heavily and it only made a bigger hole in their financial problems once the protests started. In July the council ended all non-essential spending with immediate effects which means they simply could not afford to commit to any new spending and meet its financial goals. Another thing that hindered their financial problems was the Commonwealth Games as this was something that was seen as a challenge too far because of how much money would have to be put in for this event. Max caller questioned the decision as this city was seen as a place struggling with financial problems and hosting would put it even further back.
There was an estimate made by Ms.Greenway that there would be a deficit of at least 87 million from 2023-24, which the council does not have enough to cover due to the amount of money that they have put into equal pay claims. There are a few doubts over popular events such as the “Christmas market” and the 2026 European championships. This could further affect the city in the long term as missing out on these events could impact them financially and also affect their exposure. The government are in contact with the council of Birmingham city and has asked for more information on how exactly this has occurred. When Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was asked about helping the government he responded saying “It is not the government’s job to bail out the council for their financial mismanagement’’. This situation has gotten very serious as even community groups that rely on the council for money can be affected by this.