Plans to release land for NEC masterplan put on hold after Birmingham City financial crisis - The Solihull Observer

Plans to release land for NEC masterplan put on hold after Birmingham City financial crisis

Solihull Editorial 7th Sep, 2023   0

PLANS for land to be handed over to hectares of land to help bring the NEC masterplan to life have been put on hold following financial issues at Birmingham City Council.

Documents released ahead of Tuesday’s (September 5) City Council Cabinet meeting said it intended to surrender its 125-year lease on land on the northern side of the NEC to the commercial giant.

This would’ve paved the way for the process to build thousands of homes alongside shops and a school to begin next to the M42.

However, when the item came up for discussion at the cabinet meeting Birmingham City Council’s deputy leader, Councillor Sharon Thompson said the matter would be referred to section 151 of the spend control board.

The Council announced it is essentially bankrupt and unable to pay its debts after being it with a near £1billion equal pay bill and has since frozen all non-essential spending.

The Labour administration at Birmingham City Council published a section 114 notice announcing it could not manage the equal pay debt and has no current solution to the problem.

It is reported the council released the following statement: “Today’s issuing of a Section 114 Notice is a necessary step as we seek to get our city back on a sound financial footing so that we can build a stronger city for our residents.

“Despite the challenges that we face, we will prioritise core services that our residents rely on, in line with our values of supporting the most vulnerable.”

The Conservative opposition have condemned the Labour Council’s failures to manage finances.

In a statement, leader of the Conservative opposition, Councillor Robert Alden said: “Labour’s failure in Birmingham has become clear for all to see, what Labour pledged was a Golden decade ahead to voters in 2022 turns out to be based on budgets in 20/21 and 21/22 that did not balance and were unfunded.

“Combined with Birmingham Labour’s refusal to deal with equal pay over the last decade this has created this mess where residents will now lose valuable services and investment.”

Finance director, Fiona Greenway issued the section 114 notice confirming the council’s financial disarray.

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