Radical Reformers ep.60: Local Leadership with Deborah Cadman
Deborah Cadman, Chief Executive, Birmingham City Council
This episode is with Deborah Cadman, the Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council, Europe’s largest local authority. Deborah has previously been the Chief Executive at the West Midlands Combined Authority having also led at a County and District level.
Those of you who follow the news will know that Birmingham City Council is in financial difficulty. This isn’t a news podcast and although Deborah chooses to talk a little about it, it’s not what I focus on. The #radicalreformers podcast is about public service reform, leadership and culture and on these Deborah has a wealth of experience and insight.
We spend time talking about her role in Birmingham and the challenge of driving economic growth whilst also tackling inequality and also how to keep a focus on delivering the public services so many vulnerable people rely on against a backdrop of huge strategic challenges.
Deborah shares her unique perspective on the different levels of local and devolved government and the responsibilities that should sit at each level.
Leadership and culture feature heavily in this conversation. Birmingham is a very large and complex organisation and I ask Deborah how she tackles issues such as gender and race equality. Deborah also explains the three things she expects from the people who work for her – be brave, be curious, and be true.