Birmingham Conservatives call for post-pandemic recovery group

Council motion to call for Covid task force to protect and grow Birmingham industry.

The Conservative group on Birmingham City Council have called for a cross-party task force to seek ways to protect and grow key industries, including car manufacturing and their supply chains in the wake of the impact of the COVID Pandemic. In a motion to Full Council on 22nd June, they will ask the leaders of the parties on the city council to join with key stakeholders in the city to seek ways to protect and grow vital industries such as the car industry and secure a long term future for those industries.

Cllr Robert Alden (pictured), Leader of the Conservative group on Birmingham City Council said, “The impact of the pandemic on industry could have a devastating long term impact on this city. The West Midlands produces one third of the nearly two million vehicles manufactured in the UK and one-fifth of the UK’s motor vehicle parts and accessories businesses are located here, worth £3.2 billion to the local economy. The response to this needs to be national and regional, but also local. The city council has to take a key leadership role in finding ways to protect and grow industry, ensuring that we are getting the right support to the right places.”

He added, “Companies like Jaguar Land Rover are world leaders and the council needs to work with them to safeguard the long-term future of the companies, supply chains and the skilled jobs they provide locally. I urge the Labour group to agree with us that we should be protecting and growing these jobs and back this call for a taskforce.”

Conservative group deputy leader Cllr Ewan Mackey said, “Whilst there has been a shift to financial, service and retail sectors in recent decades, manufacturing remains vital to our City and is an area of potential growth as we move to a more green economy, with opportunities to lead the way in electric vehicles and other green technology. What we are asking for is to ensure the council uses every possible lever make the most of these opportunities by working across political divides to put Birmingham first.”

Cllr Mackey continued, “While Covid has provided a shock to the economy, the council should be looking not only at the risk but also the opportunities it offers the city going forward. Creating a taskforce would help start that work.”