Birmingham’s leader on the horns of a dilemma

By Michael Burton | 30 August 2017
  • Michael Burton

The law of unintended consequences applies more often than not to central government where simple answers to complex questions cause unforeseen crises down the line. Civil servants are paid to spot these elephant traps and hope that ministers will adjust their policies accordingly. In some cases as a reward for their foresight the former are accused by the latter of being obstructive.

Local government is not immune to this iron law of unintended consequences and, like Whitehall mandarins, it is the task of council senior management to warn their cabinets of looming traps. Such is the case at Birmingham whose interim chief Stella Manzie has warned in a private report seen by The MJ that any backtracking by the administration on redundancy plans in its strike-hit refuse service to satisfy one trade union, Unite, could open up new equal pay claims by another, Unison.

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Budgets and efficiency HR Waste Politics Management Birmingham Unions equal pay