Birmingham City Council will need to look for ways to generate funds after declaring itself ‘effectively bankrupt’.
The city council announced last Tuesday (September 5) that it could no longer balance its books and issued a Section 114 notice. Local authorities in the UK can’t go bankrupt but the notice means they are unable to spend money, which is why it’s often reffered to being ‘effectively bankrupt’.
The notice followed an alarming admission by BCC earlier this summer that it couldn’t afford to pay its equal pay liability - which is currently in the region of £650m and £760m and continuing to accrue at an estimated rate of between £5 million and £14 million a month.
It has also been revealed that the council needs to stump up £100m to fix its flawed IT system, Oracle, which was intended to help streamline payments across its public services.
Probes into the council’s finances have now begun and no official announcements on which services will be cut, but an ‘extraordinary meeting’ has been planned for Monday, September 25 where council leaders will present their financial recovery plan. It will also spell out where the axe will fall if any cuts are needed.
It is feared that the authority could be forced to sell off assests to generate funds due to its financial situation. The city council owns a number of Birmingham’s well known landmarks, as well as some key properties - including 54,000 council houses. It has previously sold off a number of assets, notably the NEC which went for £307m in 2015 and was later sold in 2018 for around £800m.
Some Aston Villa fans have also expressed fears that the redevelopment plans at Villa Park could be affected by the council’s inability to spend money. The club are reportedly awaiting funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority - which includes Birmingham City Council - to improve services at Witton station before pushing on with the stadium redevelopment plans, although Mayor Andy Street reaffirmed his and Aston Villa’s intentions to improve geting to and from Villa Park earlier this week. The stadium has also been selected as a host stadium if England win their bid to host Euro 2028.
We’ve taken a look at 11 properties and assests currently owned by Birmingham City Council: