Birmingham City Council (BCC) and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) have been working together for 15 years. During that time the CLGF have fully funded a number of Good Practice Exchange projects in South Africa, India etc. around solid waste management, education, informal trade / economy and city management. For the past 4 years, BCC has also been the Coordinator of the Commonwealth Inclusive Cities Network (ICN), bringing together 16 Commonwealth cities together to share and improve service delivery models for disadvantaged citizens.
The CLGF conference was a biennial event at which approximately 650 representatives of 50 Commonwealth countries attend. Representation at the conference included Heads of State, Government Ministries, local and the state government as well as City Mayors, Council International Departments, Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)’s and academia.
BCC representative meet with CLGF partner cities and reported on ICN progress. The CLGF conference agreed a 3-year future strategy for local government across the Commonwealth. It will comprise a sharing of ideas and models of best practice.
There are several objectives to achieve from 2015 to 2030:
- Promoting local democracy and good governance
- Local government should be recognised as equal to central / federal and provincial / state government, with a distinct role to play in the multi-level governance framework.
- It needs to recognise the local government as a distinct sphere of government with a clearer role to play in the multi-level governance framework to minimise conflict and ensure a more coordinated approach towards achieve national and global development goals.
- Achieving economic growth and local economic development
- Local government facilitate and recognise the interconnectedness of economic development at the global, regional, national and local levels with the local stakeholders, in order to promote sustainability.
- Emphasise the importance of planning, growth and long-term strategies that understand the local economies and the locally economic development solutions.
- The Commonwealth adding global value
- Working together with its member states and partners to add value and develop a 15 years strategy and business plan focusing the support of every member.