Sunday 17 August 2014

Kensal Rise Fake Email Investigation: Brent Council knows about progress but haven't told the public

Regular readers will remember that the Mystery of the Fake E-mails has not been solved. Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council,  having avidly pursued the matter early on seems to have lost his appetite for an answer to the question of who wrote the fake emails and to whose benefit? 
The emails were written in support of an earlier planning application for the redevelopment of Kensal Rise Library. Despite the investigation not being completed Brent Planning Committee approved the  recent planning application by the developer Andrew Gillick.

Now a Freedom of Information request has established that Simon Lane, Head of Audit and Investigations Team at Brent Council was last updated by Brent Police on the investigation on July 16th 2014.

Brent Council had no information on when the investigation was likely to be completed.

Surely it is of the utmost public interest for Brent Council  and Brent police to pursue this matter. An attempt was made to subvert the Council's planning process and in the course of this the identities of Brent citizens were stolen.

Rather than a Miss Marple mystery we now seem to have a rerun of the Hancock classic,The Last Page:


Meg Howarth said...

Brilliant, Martin! Thanks. It does seem as Cllr Butt's original enthusiasm for the police investigation has waned. I have written to him twice to ask for an update but have received no answer. As for Cllr Denselow - who now has responsibility for libraries as part of his 'cabinet' remit - he's been totally silent abut the matter since assuming that role. Don't Kensal Rise residents deserve the truth - or do elected members consider that to be expendable now the local election's out of the way and Andrew Gillick has been granted planning permission? Almost one year to the day has passed since the council was first sent evidence of the false emails. The protracted delay does the new executive no favours, and is a reminder that any Recall Bill must apply to local politicians as well as to MPs.

Anonymous said...

Not being funny but isn't this a police investigation not a Brent Council one?

Martin Francis said...

Yes, but Brent Council have not told the public the content of updates on the investigation it has received from the Brent police.

Meg Howarth said...

We need to remember also that the police need to be held to account - democratic accountability demands active scrutiny. Brent police refuse to report directly to residents as the council is officially the complainant - the Audit and Investigation Unit forwarded a 'summary' of the evidence it received originally to the National Fraud and Investigation Bureau (NFIB),although at least one business-owner reported the theft of her firm's name and address not only to the council but directly to the police. To this day, the police have failed to acknowledge her complaint let alone update her on the progress of their investigation. It's almost certainly only thanks to Mo Butt's intervention on 31 January that there is an investigation, so his failure to update residents is particularly surprising. A niggling question remains as to why the substantive evidence, rather than a 'summary', wasn't handed to the police by Audit and Investigation from the outset. Had it been, would the matter have already been concluded?

Anonymous said...

It amazes me we can convict people for handling fake goods, but so far I have seen little action in convicted those who seek to benefit from fake emails.

Ironically the chap Brent convicted uses company by the name of Platinum connect Ltd Any relation to the much talked about Platinum Revolver ?

Anonymous said...

Meg as usual you are talking about something you know nothing about.

if there was an abundance of evidence then the case would be progressed and there would be charges and possibly a court case.

So let's assume the Police are doing their job it would lead a reasonable person to believe there is no crime, no evidence, no suspects or maybe there are so many suspects it takes time.

You have to remember that although supporting comments would have initially been investigated an investigation would have quickly led to all comments supports and objections, and that is a lot of comments and investigations.

So let's be fair and reasonable to the Police and Brent Council.

Anonymous said...

Everything Platinum links back to Kensal Rise Library.

You need to ease up on what you are smoking

Meg Howarth said...

How do you know I know nothing, and why hide behind a mask on anonymity? Your comment is entirely speculative. I can back mine up.