Birmingham legal chief leaves in wake of restructure

Birmingham City Council’s corporate director of governance Mirza Ahmad has left his position after more than a year of uncertainty following a restructure of senior management at the local authority.

Mirza Ahmad
Mirza Ahmad

Ahmad, who has been head of the council’s legal department since 2000, leaves after failing in his bid to assume a newly created role of strategic director of resources, which was appointed to colleague Paul Dransfield.

It first emerged that the legal head was facing redundancy in February last year, when his position became one of about 10 high level roles put under review as part of a planned restructuring aiming to cut costs by £1.4m (22 February 2010).

Commenting on his departure, Ahmad said: “It’s been a great honour and a privilege for me, over the past 11 years, to serve the largest local authority in the UK, Birmingham City Council.

“I’m delighted that I was able to play my part in raising excellence within the City Council and I wish the council, its elected members and officers every success for the future.”

Ahmad’s departure is effective from 31 July.

Birmingham City Council chief executive Stephen Hughes said: “Mirza’s been a committed, effective and loyal senior manager for Birmingham City Council since 2000, giving solid advice and leading on important initiatives consistently throughout that time.”

Ahmad grabbed the headlines in January last year by opening the council’s revamped panel of legal advisers to 38 other local authorities (4 January 2010). 

The move followed a radical cull of Birmingham’s external advisers that saw the total number of appointees drop from 21 to 12 and the number of sub-panels reduced.

The role of corporate director of governance will now be absorbed into Dransfield’s new post, in which he will oversee a new ‘super-department’ bringing together financial and legal services.