If you’re working in Birmingham, it will not have escaped your notice that Clive Dutton has left behind Birmingham City Council in favour of Newham council. On the face of it, it looks an odd decision until you remember the borough’s Olympic ties. Some would call him a traitor, others just simply ambitious.
Jumping ship just when things were looking good, taking the money after gaining nationwide recognition, sound familiar?
It must have been a tough decision, BCC is the biggest council in Europe and he has implemented plans that will see the city’s most significant regeneration since..well, a long time. On the other hand, joining the Olympic project and having the opportunity to create a bit of history and play a major role in this country’s largest project in a generation is surely to good to pass up.
Mr Dutton is clearly an ambitious man and, from personal experience, a very focused and driven individual and an opportunity like the Olympics would have been unturndownable (it’s not a word but it is now).
So what has he left behind? New street station, the new library (not as good as the old), Olympic swimming pool and Masshouse justice courts. Only one problem with them, none of them exist, and I’m willing to bet at least one of them doesn’t happen (although that is not what I hope). That isn’t necessarily his fault, he’s only been here 4 years, not much time to get bricks and mortar in place.
As for ditching Birmingham, I think you would have to be mad to try and hold him to account in terms of loyalty. It’s similar to Barry leaving Aston Villa for Manchester City. A man that has done a lot of good work for his team for some time but has decided to leave for more money and potentially a much better team and the chance to create their own history.
The promise of the opportunity is infinately more attractive than staying where he is, where he has taken his department about as far as he could, albeit with success just around the corner.