The next bins chief for Birmingham City Council has been chosen to take on the role described as ‘the toughest job in the city’.
Coun John O’Shea will lead on the city’s waste and recycling strategy in the aftermath of two damaging strikes by bin workers and have the task of rebuilding the city’s reputation as a clean place to live.
His portfolio has been rebranded “Streetscene and Parks”.
Coun O’Shea, 48, whose lived in Acocks Green for 20 years, will have to get to grips quickly with the art of industrial relations and diplomacy as residents continue to complain about uncollected rubbish and a surge in fly tipping.
Coun O’Shea, whose represented his home area since 2012, will formally take on the post on May 21.
He was chosen to serve on the city’s Cabinet at the annual meeting of Birmingham Labour Group, which was held on Saturday (May 11).
He was selected ahead of challengers Zhor Malik and Liz Clements.
Coun O’Shea is married with four children (and two degus, two cats and one dog, he adds).
His predecessor Brett O’Reilly had announced he was not standing for re-election to give more time to family commitments.
Coun O’Reilly (Longbridge & West Heath) had only been in post for three months following the resignation of Coun Majid Mahmood , who quit in disgust over the council leadership’s strategy for dealing with the bins unions.
Coun O’Shea said he was looking forward to the challenge.
“I want to make this service work for the people of Birmingham. We – politicians, senior officers and the unions – need to work together. I’m up for that challenge.”
He added: “We must do better than we have.”
Coun O’Shea will juggle his council commitments with his work as constituency office manager for Yardley MP Jess Phillips. He has spent most of his career to date working in operations management in service industries.
The annual meeting of the Labour group elected a new set of chairs for overview and scrutiny committees, while leader Ian Ward announced three regulatory committee chairs.
Finance & Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee (OSC)- Sir Albert Bore (Ladywood)
Learning, Culture & Physical Activity OSC – Mariam Khan (Alum Rock)
Transport & Sustainability OSC – Liz Clements (Bournville & Cotteridge)
Economy and Skills OSC – Tahir Ali (Nechells)
Housing & Neighbourhoods OSC – Penny Holbrook (Stockland Green)
Children’s Services OSC – Kath Scott (Sutton Vesey)
Health & Social Care OSC – Rob Pocock (Sutton Vesey)
Co-Ordinating OSC- Carl Rice (North Edgbaston)
Licensing committee – Phil Davis (Billesley)
Audit committee – Fred Grindrod (Bournville & Cotteridge)
Planning committee – Karen McCarthy (Bournbrook & Selly Park)