Strategic Director for City Operations set to retire

Published: Monday, 5th September 2022

Rob James, Strategic Director for City Operations at Birmingham City Council, is set to retire in December after a career devoted to the public sector.

Portrait photo of Rob James

Having worked at the council for 49 years, Rob has held a range of roles, including the post of Constituency/District Director when the council embarked upon a devolved management structure and then became the Director of Housing from 2012 to 2018.

Following this, he became Director of Neighbourhoods, a brief that included a wide range of local authority services including housing, waste, culture and visitor economy, sports, events, open spaces, neighbourhoods and communities and regulatory and enforcement services.

Rob was subsequently appointed as Strategic Director City Operations in April 2021 and his responsibilities have included being one of the key leads for the city’s Commonwealth Games preparations, city centre management issues and many other areas including:

  • Street Scene (refuse collection, recycling, street cleaning, waste disposal, grounds maintenance, parks and nature);
  • Regulation and Enforcement (licensing, bereavement services – cemeteries and crematoria registration services, mortuary and support to the Coroner, markets, illegal money lending);
  • Neighbourhoods (locality working, leisure, community centres, arts, culture, sport and events, neighbourhood advice services);
  • Community Safety and Resilience (including anti-social behaviour, emergency Planning, business continuity, CCTV, counter terrorism);
  • Highways and Infrastructure (highway asset management, the highways PFI contract, flood risk management Parking Services, including Traffic Regulation Orders, traffic management services and the school crossing patrols service).

Rob said: “It has been a privilege and an honour to work for the city on such a wide range of services and projects that we provide for residents, visitors and businesses.

“Following the delivery of an amazing Commonwealth Games, which showed off the very best of Birmingham to a global audience, I feel now is the time for someone else to take this brief on and write future chapters of the city’s story.

“There have been many challenges to tackle over the years, but I have been lucky enough to work with fantastic colleagues, leadership teams and partners. I would like to thank everyone – both past and present – for their support and I look forward to seeing the city’s future progress.”

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council said: “Rob’s dedication and effort to serving the city over the years is something that I know both myself and previous administrations are hugely appreciative of.

“His departure will be a big loss to the council, but his contribution will never be forgotten and he leaves the services he is currently responsible for in a better position than when he took on the City Operations role.

“On behalf of everyone at the council, I wish Rob a happy and productive retirement – he fully deserves it.”

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