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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mayor of Birmingham

Councillor Carl Rice was born in 1956 in a Council House in Madresfield – a small village close to Malvern in Worcestershire. He is the only son of Bill and Agnes and has three older sisters – Jennifer, Pauline and Sarah. The family moved to Kidderminster in 1962 when Carl was 5 years old – to a house built by his bricklayer father.

Carl left school aged 16 in 1972 and followed his sisters in attending Kidderminster College where he gained two A levels – both in Government & Politics. He started work with British Rail at Kidderminster Station in 1974 before moving to the Birmingham Divisional office in 1975.

In 1978 Carl went to night school at Matthew Boulton College to gain an additional A level in History and left British Rail in 1979 to attend Coventry Polytechnic. It was at this time that he moved to Birmingham to live in York Road, Edgbaston.

After graduating with a degree in Modern Studies (politics & history) he spent a year volunteering before doing a postgraduate degree at Warwick University. He graduated with an MA in Industrial Relations in 1984 and spent a few months running the newly opened photography galley at the Triangle Arts Centre at Aston University. It was during his time at Warwick University that he married Deed Curry whom he had met in 1978. Carl & Deed have two children – Joseph & Julia.

He began work with the West Midlands Low Pay Unit in 1985 becoming its Director in 1988. Carl quickly established himself as a regular contributor to the local media as a spokesperson on employment and poverty related issues. He joined Walsall Citizens Advice Bureau in 1996 as Chief Executive and will complete 20 years’ service when his term of office as Lord Mayor begins.

Carl joined the Labour Party in 1981 and was elected Councillor for Ladywood Ward in May 1987. He has held many roles in his 29 years as a Councillor – most notably Chair of Leisure Services, Ladywood District Committee, Thinktank & the main Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

During his year as Lord Mayor, Councillor Rice hopes to highlight the work of the voluntary sector in Birmingham and wants to celebrate the role of women in making Birmingham a great City. Carl is excited about launching the new look Lord Mayor’s Charity which seeks to create a source of funding for local voluntary agencies and community groups.

Leisure - Carl is a passionate hill walker and at the time of his appointment has climbed 211 of the 282 Munro’s (mountains over 3,000 feet in height) in Scotland. He walks on average 1,000 miles each year throughout all parts of the United Kingdom. He has recently ventured farther afield – walking in the Dolomites and the French Alps.


Birmingham, is a major city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the largest and most populous British city outside London, with a population in 2014 of 1,101,360. The city is in the West Midlands Built-up Area, the third most populous urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population of 2,440,986 at the 2011 census. Birmingham is the second most populous metropolitan area in the UK with a population of 3.8 million. This also makes Birmingham the 9th most populous metropolitan area in Europe.

A medium-sized market town in the medieval period, Birmingham grew to international prominence in the 18th century at the heart of the Midlands Enlightenment and subsequent Industrial Revolution, which saw the town at the forefront of worldwide advances in science, technology and economic development, producing a series of innovations that laid many of the foundations of modern industrial society.By 1791 it was being hailed as "the first manufacturing town in the world". Birmingham's distinctive economic profile, with thousands of small workshops practising a wide variety of specialised and highly skilled trades, encouraged exceptional levels of creativity and innovation and provided a diverse and resilient economic base for industrial prosperity that was to last into the final quarter of the 20th century. Perhaps the most important invention in British history, the industrial steam engine, was invented in Birmingham. Its resulting high level of social mobility also fostered a culture of broad-based political radicalism, that under leaders from Thomas Attwood to Joseph Chamberlain was to give it a political influence unparalleled in Britain outside London, and a pivotal role in the development of British democracy. From the summer of 1940 to the spring of 1943, Birmingham was bombed heavily by the German Luftwaffe in what is known as the Birmingham Blitz. The damage done to the city's infrastructure, in addition to a deliberate policy of demolition and new building by planners, led to extensive demolition and redevelopment in subsequent decades.

Today Birmingham's economy is dominated by the service sector. The city is a major international commercial centre, ranked as a beta− world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network; and an important transport, retail, events and conference hub. Its metropolitan economy is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a GDP of $121.1bn (2014),and its six universities make it the largest centre of higher education in the country outside London. Birmingham's major cultural institutions – including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Library of Birmingham and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts – enjoy international reputations, and the city has vibrant and influential grassroots art, music, literary and culinary scenes. Birmingham is the fourth-most visited city in the UK by foreign visitors.

Birmingham's sporting heritage can be felt worldwide, with the concept of the Football League and lawn tennis both originating from the city. Its most successful football club Aston Villa has won seven league titles and one European Cup with the other professional club being Birmingham City.

People from Birmingham are called Brummies, a term derived from the city's nickname of Brum. This originates from the city's dialect name, Brummagem, which may in turn have been derived from one of the city's earlier names, Bromwicham. There is a distinctive Brummie accent and dialect.

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