Thursday, 25 September 2014

Brent TUC and ex-Labour councillor join call for independent investigation into Brent Council following racism judgment

Brent Trades Union Council (Brent TUC) has followed Brent Green Party in calling for an independent investigation into Brent Council and their Corporate Management Team:

This is the resolution passed at their meeting yesterday:
Brent Trades Union Council considers that the Employment Tribunal judgement that Brent Council has been guilty of racial discrimination, victimisation and constructive dismissal brings shame on the Council, especially in a borough that rightly prides itself on its diversity.
We call for the dismissal of Cara Davani, whose position is now clearly untenable, using the Council’s disciplinary procedures.  
In the light of the tribunal findings, we call for an investigation headed by an independent expert in race relations acceptable to both Councillors and Council Unions of:
1. The extent of racism and discriminatory practices within the Council;
2.  The working culture of the Human Resources department;
3.  Brent Council's Whistle Blowing Policy to ensure that it adequately protects whistle-blowers from harassment and retribution;
4. Corporate Management Team officers being paid through their private companies rather than normal payroll;
5. The contractual arrangements for CMT officers and interim appointments;
6. Previous employment and business connections between senior offices appointed by Brent Council on an interim basis.
In addition former Labour councillor and member of the Labour Representation Committee, Graham Durham has written to all the current Labour councillors:

I trust you have read of the finding of race discrimination, victimisation and constructive dismissal against Brent Council.
I recommend that you find time to read the full report of the case ( Employment Tribunal Case Number 3302741/2013.)
I  am sure you will agree that this is a shocking indictment  of an  individual senior manager but also  of the apparent culture which was allowed to flourish in Brent Council management. It is a disgrace to all of us in Brent and especially to the Labour Party which was in control of the Council throughout the period referred.
I am sure that you will want to ensure appropriate disciplinary action commences promptly. Perhaps more importantly I hope you will support the demand of Brent Trades Council that an independent enquiry is established headed by an independent expert in diversity practice and with membership agreed by Council trade unions and the Council members. The enquiry should cover diversity policy, management behaviour and culture and the rights of staff to be  protected  from victimisation.
Many of you will know that Brent Council once had an international reputation for challenging racism and promoting equalities. In the 1980’s the Tory press attacked the Labour Council ,of which I was proud to be a member, for our determination to challenge decades of racist behaviour. Journalists from The Sun and other papers harassed us but we stood firm. Our stand then led to a proud history of record numbers of black councillors and MPs in Brent and for Brent having a reputation as the equality Council.
This proud reputation is now in tatters. It will be important for us to debate in the party how the Council leadership allowed this to occur.
I urge you to take immediate action to try to restore our reputation


  1. Excellent resolution and letter. But how did Cllr Butt ever let things get to the point where members of his own party have to tell him they're ashamed of his party's behaviour in Brent and have to remind him of what, in the past, this council was capable of achieving?

    1. Sadly Councillor Butts thanks to Gilbert and Co for his leadership bid and success seems to mean more to him than stamping out racial hatred and abuse under his nose.

      This is all reminds us of Saville etc where those in power have more to loose than stepping up to the plate and accepting Davani and Co HAVE TO Go!

  2. Do non of the labour party members have a backbone? Will they let a select few run the council into the ground? Shocking!

    Surely Brent can't have a HR Head guilty of such actions. It goes against the very grain of the profession.

    I wish London tonight could get hold of this. Spread the truth every which way and gain more exposure.
    The council will never flourish in the these circumstances.

    Please let us know what Brent residents can do to help those poor people who still have to work under her. It must be so scary for them. How sad. How can Brent residents ask for Mo Butt to be looked into.

    Unfortunately I fear an online petition won't help as people who work there are in fear. It's such a mess.


    1. Thanks, Nessie. Exactly what we need. More local people wanting to get involved and put their names to it.
      Spread the word!

    2. It certainly is a mess and Davani is still in post 21 days after the judgement.

  3. If these councillor know about what is happening - THEN THEY HAVE TO GO. If they dont know - THEN THEY HAVE TO GO. The result is that they are ineffective. We voted for them to act on our behalf for the good of the borough not to make decisions that will benefit themselves and shut their eyes to the racist senior manager bullies.

    1. There is a rumour tonight that a Labour councillor has resigned (probably resigned the Labour whip) over the bullying of Council staff but no confirmation as yet. If anyone can confirm please let us know.

    2. Institutional racism. Are the councillors complicit

    3. I would not be surprised. There is a female councillor who is rather foul and arrogant

    4. It has been confirmed that Cllr Perrin has stepped down for 'personal' reasons.

  4. Things were by no means perfect back in Graham Durham's time on the council but at least the senior councillors bothered to understand the council constitution, read their papers, question officers and show their displeasure if dissatisfied with the answers.

  5. I think more needs to be said about those who have allowed this to happen. One individual can never behave like this in isolation, without the support of those higher up. They must continue to be exposed allowing this to happen. Citizens of Brent deserve better or the way I see it, they'll be wanting to remove Labour from power altogether at the earliest opportunity.

    If the labour leader, the Chief Exec and others see their names on these sites and the papers, you never know.....................................

    All who are complicit need to takes responsibility. The all people want.

    Mr Anon