Saturday, 18 July 2015

Brent Equalities Committee: Michael Pavey responds to Philip Grant's Open Letter


Last week, Martin published as a “guest blog” an open letter which I had sent to the members of Brent Council’s new Equalities Committee, ahead of their meeting on 13 July. LINK  
The day after their meeting, the chair of that committee, Cllr. Michael Pavey, wrote to me in reply to my open letter. With his permission, I am setting out the main text of his reply, so that “Wembley Matters” readers can consider the points he has made, as part of a balanced discussion:-
‘The Committee met for the first time last night and as part of our discussions on the implementation of my Review, we decided to remove the "success criteria" relating to successfully defended ETs. We opted to remove the clause entirely, rather than to replace it. This was a unanimous decision. 

Your suggestion that the Council withdraw from the Race for Opportunity awards was not raised. 

My understanding is that this particular award relates to the collection of equalities data. Whatever your view of the Council's current performance, the Committee will only be able to drive up standards by referring to reliable and challenging data. 

The Council Equalities Team have put a tremendous amount of work into improving internal data collection and analysis. I have no problem with this work being recognised through nomination for an award. 

I don't feel that objecting to Council Officers receiving legitimate praise for their hard work is the right way to address ongoing grievances about an Employment Tribunal. The Officers who put in the hard work to collect this data had nothing at all to do with that Tribunal. 

I think it would be far more constructive for us to acknowledge the good work of those particular Officers and focus on using this data to improve the Council's performance on Equalities issues, as per my Review. The new Committee has an important role to play in this and we made an encouraging start last night, challenging Officers in a constructive but robust way.’ 

I believe I am on record as saying this before, but it is worth repeating, that I welcome Michael Pavey’s openness in actually replying to serious points put to him (unlike his colleague, the Leader of the Council). We do not agree on everything, but I have confirmed to Cllr. Pavey that I know there are many officers at the Council who do an excellent job (even though they have been let down by some very senior ones!). My open letter was not all criticism, but in reply to Cllr. Pavey’s response above, I have reminded him that its key message was that the Equalites Committee (and Brent Council generally) needs to acknowledge and deal with the “negatives”, as well as celebrating the “positives”.

Philip Grant

9 comments:

  1. Michael Pavey has 'responded' but he certainly hasn't replied. He ignores the 'ongoing grievances about an Employment Tribunal' which Philip has tirelessly and legitimately attempted to raise and merely asserts that this is not the 'right way' to address them.
    Ok, Mr Pavey, you've watched Philip struggle and made no attempt to help him out. Good faith would surely urge you to put a little advice Philip's way as to what exactly WOULD be the 'right way' to address the issue.
    Unless, of course, there IS no right way in your view and more evasion and dishonesty is all you have to offer .

    Mike Hine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A big disappointment! :/ Man who who has a big political ego, within small cliquish circles, should honestly reach out to the watchful community do better!

      Delete
  2. They were not 'nominated' for an award they entered themselves for the award. It's not like someone thought they were doing a great job and nominated them, these awards should be by nomination only and it shouldn't be the relevant team putting themselves forward. Bit of a joke

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sad – so typical!

      Delete
  3. Grievances - what grievances? Does anyone know how many were entered by staff since since the days of CD & Co - both formal & informal, what the nature of these grievances were & what was the outcome?

    ReplyDelete
  4. He hasn't answered any of your questions about the payoff Philip so I'm not sure what "openess" you are welcoming

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He will never be open as they are all in it together and he is covering Butt!

      Delete
  5. It is evident from the Employment Tribunal which Rosmarie Clarke brought against 1. London Borough of Brent and 2. Cara Davani that OUR ELECTED COUNCILLORS PAID OFFICIALS IN BRENT HAVE GREAT DIFFICULTIES FOLLOWING THE RULES OF GOOD GOVERNANCE, PARTICULARLY IN RELATION TO ' ENSURING THAT THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR DECISION MAKING ARE CLEARLY IDENTIFIABLE TO LOCAL PEOPLE AND THAT THEY EXPLAIN THE REASONS FOR THEIR DECISIONS'.

    To illustrate an example of Brent being wholly vague and incompetent, in relation to ENSURING THAT THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR DECISION MAKING ARE CLEARLY IDENTIFIABLE TO LOCAL PEOPLE AND THAT THEY EXPLAIN THE REASONS FOR THEIR DECISIONS - or deliberately mislead and lie - we only have read Wembley Matters, dated 28.9.14, when Philip Grant, a local resident, raised some important questions.

    Philip Grant asked:-

    "Did Senior Brent Council officers allow Cara Davani to continue her victimisation of council worker?"

    He goes on to say:-

    "Brent Council has been “found guilty” of racial discrimination in this case, and wants to clear its name. If race did not play a part in the decision to continue disciplinary action against Rosemarie Clarke after she had resigned, what was the reason for the decision, and who made it?"
    Phillip quotes from the judgement of Judge Henry:-
    "The tribunal judgement says at para. 240:
    ‘With regards to the decision being taken to pursue disciplinary action against the claimant, following the termination of her employment, the respondents [Brent Council and Cara Davani] have been unable to state by whom or when that decision was made. Indeed, by the evidence before the tribunal a decision was taken following a meeting between Ms Cleary [a Brent HR Manager] and Ms Ledden [Brent’s Legal Director]. In her oral evidence, Ms Ledden confirmed that Ms Cleary’s role at the meeting was an advisory one only, but also that she, Ms Ledden, had not made the decision either. Ms Ledden could not identify who had made the decision."
    Philip goes on to say:-

    "The tribunal clearly found the evidence reported here scarcely credible, as any reasonable person would. Despite claiming not to know who had made such an important decision, Brent’s most senior legal officer chaired the meeting on 31 July 2013 which implemented that decision, and found Rosemarie “guilty” of gross misconduct. What was the “misconduct” which she had been suspended for? The letter to her on 26 February 2013, supposedly written by the Director of her department, but emailed to her by Cara Davani, said: ‘It has been alleged that you maybe liable for gross misconduct in respect of your failure to follow reasonable management instructions.’ The ‘instructions’ had been given by Ms Davani, who Ms Clarke had lodged a formal complaint against for bullying, and the tribunal found that they had not been ‘reasonable’.

    In light of the general vagueness relating to who the made life-changing decisions which have affected Rosemarie Clarke, as well as others', surely it's now time to call for an independent investigation as there have been too many genuine concerns raised about the potential misuse of public money, including misuse of Oyster cards, as well as poor practice and pay-off through failures and/or nepotism, all of which are a potential breach the rules of good governance.

    Perhaps renewed calls should be made to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to investigate.


    ReplyDelete