Friday, 3 October 2014

Butt to be rebuffed by Labour Group on Monday?

The Brrent Council Labour Group on Monday will be discussing proposals for the Labour leader (and thus at present the Council leader)  and Cabinet to be elected on a basis other than an automatic annual election.

Muhammed Butt after the May elections said that a four year cycle would end the problem of him having to 'look over his shoulder' all the time.

Brent Central Labour Party recently passed the following motion unopposed:
Brent Central CLP believes that because of the benefits in terms of accountability the Leader of the Labour Group and the Cabinet should remain as annually elected positions.
The potential loss of democratic accountability and the loss of ability to exercise some power on an annual basis has been too much for some councillors although there had been talk of introducing some compromise process which would require a certain number of signatories to trigger an election.

Meanwhile disquiet is mounting over the reputational damage the Council and Labour Party is suffering due to the Cabinet's failure to grasp the nettle of the current scandal regarding the Human Resources Department and the personal, business and career relationships between senior council officers.

There has been one Cabinet resignation recently with Cllr Perrin unwilling to explain the reasons for his resignation beyond the usual 'personal reasons' statement.  It would be to his credit if he had taken a principled stand on the Cavani-Corporate Management Team issue and had opposed the decision to spend council tax payers' money on an appeal over the Employment Tribunal's Judgment.

James Powney's concerns expressed on his blog may be dismissed by some as sour grapes from a member of the deposed Ann John team but his concerns are shared by Labour Party members on the Brent Trades Union Council and members of the Brent Labour Representatation Committee who were never Johnites.


23 comments:

  1. The question is:
    - what are http://www.bamelabour.org.uk/ doing about a discriminatory Labour Council?
    - what do regional or national unions doing about this. Unison and GMB, are happy to take all our subscriptions, but the silence is both astonishing and deafening.
    - what about the 50 labour Councillors that are not in the Cabinet?

    It might be legitimate for the powers that be to say that they want to keep CD because she is delivering their agenda, or that they feel that the Tribunal has come to an erroneous decision, but what seems overwhelmingly undeniable is the culture of fear that hundreds of council staff and junior and middle managers are working in. Do Unions and the Labour movement think that is OK? Even three members of the Corporate Management Team tried to stand in defence of the previous Chief Exec.

    What is more important, that Labour closes ranks in order to defend their position of power for political purposes or to stand up for what is right, fair and just, and have a Council where staff are valued and are able to say things and put their name at the bottom instead of cowering in anonymous fear?

    Come on Councillors, local MPs, Unions stand up for the weak and protect ordinary people (many of whom are your constituents) from one or two very powerful bullies. Show ordinary people that our complete disaffection with politics and complete disillusionment with politicians who seem to just be in it for themselves, is mis-guided and that you really are there to stand up for the oppressed.

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  2. Agree completely. What on earth are borough, area, regional, national union reps doing? Have they set up any arrangements to give a voice to their members at the Civic Centre? Meetings (secret if necessary)? Ways of collecting evidence from staff (off-site and out of hours if necessary)? Has any Unison or GMB rep made any statement, spoken to any newspaper, appeared on tv in connection with this scandal? Any attempts at all to pitch the whole dirty story to the media?
    Think about it.Head of HR bullying a staff member! Head of HR shouting at staff member at Investors in People meeting, for God's sake! Head of HR in anti-racist, equal ops-pioneering Brent done for racial bullying! Ackee and salt-fish scoffing head of Equalities skanking in to cover up the Inequalities! Dodgy relationships, dodgy dog days off, oyster card fiddling. Ofsted, Lutfur Rahman, jobs for the boys (and girls). Enhanced allotment outcomes! For God's sake, you could get a bloody mini-series out of this! You're just not trying!
    Mike Hine

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  3. Far too racy for Sunday night viewing I fear.

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  4. I love to see Butts proposals rebuffed but let's not pretend that the Labour group on the council are accountable to or take any notice of anyone but themselves. Remember when Brent Central Labour party passed a motion asking the Labour Council not to take 3,000 vulnerable people to court for not paying their council tax? They did it anyway. Remember when Brent Central Labour Party passed a motion asking Brent not to grant the waste contract to Veolia because of their complicity with Israeli war crimes? They did it anyway. These people are simply untouchable.

    What makes me sad is that there are plainly good people within the Labour Party in Brent who still cling on to the idea that they are better inside of it than out - even though they are patently failing to influence this corrupt and rotten leadership in any progressive way. Get out now, while you still have any semblance of integrity left.

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  5. I too, feel despondent about the lack of any action by the trades unions and by the fact that staff don't feel able to trust them at local level. I do recognise how difficult it must be for the local reps who also have to work under the bullying regime of Davani and Co-bullies.

    I had numerous complaints about The System in my time as a NALGO rep but at least if I spoke up for my members in Brent, management knew they would have to deal with the issue before councillors stepped in and embarrassed them into doing so - and that was Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors.

    Herein lies today's problem - councillors and officers are now just an amorphous mass. The very fact that Gareth Daniel felt he could order staff in management meetings to "protect" and "look out for" Ann John against the machinations of her party colleagues shows the breakdown of the barrier of mutual respect that should exist between elected council leader and head of paid service, in favour of the all-chums-together culture

    Sad that I have been dragged out of 1980's mothballs for this (it's safe for me because I don't rely on the council for my daily baguette unlike the poor staff who have their bills to pay). If there is a mini-series, would someone lend me a pair of shoulder pads please?

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  6. Great pic of angry, worried Butt.

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    1. Only hope may be Theresa May's new terrorism proposals: Butt (a) has a beard and (b) looks cross. Grounds for immediate detention I'd say.
      Mike Hine

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  7. Edited comment: Does the Brent Labour Party have no shame. The leader was compliant in ensuring that Cara Davani was secure in her position, despite evidence to show that she was bullying and harassing staff out of their jobs (Named senior staff) were all involved in supporting the dirty dealings and not one person has been disciplined or removed from their posts. As a life long Labour supporter and a former Brent Employee ...... I am saddened, shocked and disgusted at the depths that these people were prepared to go to destroy the good name and reputation of an excellent, hard working and courageous manager ( Rosemary Clarke) and if the labour group had any honour, they would initiate an independent investigation into all the facts and make a declaration to stop throwing any good money after bad by using my council tax money to pay for an appeal they clearly can't win. D. Morgan

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    1. Fully agree 100% I too as a life long Labour voter and resident feel totally and utterly let down. Butt simply isn't a leader, he is being lead!

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  8. It just goes to show, looking over your shoulder might be better than eventually all the skeletons being aired in public.

    Looking over your should I suspect would keep most people on their toes and would have resulted in immediate action to get rid of Ms Davani.

    Councillor Butt now looks very weak as a true leader and and further grab for power at the top with little or no scrutiny is surely going to be voted down. The consequences of recent power grabs with little scrutiny simple result in the current situation.

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  9. The Leader may find some solace in this clip of Jessie Matthews in a British (budget) Busby Berkeley-type musical number from 1934. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjquAEjkrrs&list=RDZjquAEjkrrs#t=154

    Come on, Cllr Butt, follow the bouncing ball! :

    'Over my shoulder goes one Cara
    Over my shoulder go two cares. Why should I cry? It's blue above I'm free at last and I'm in love
    Over my shoulder goes three cares over my shoulder go four cares. Bye-bye to problems they've gone beyond recall
    Over my shoulder goes it all!'

    Mike Hine

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  10. I agree with comments above. Cllr Butt not only looks weak but also compromised, his name having become enmeshed with those of the top management team. But the most telling criticism is surely his 'over the shoulder comment' which displays total disregard for the very essence of democracy - accountability - not only for members of his own party whose independently minded members he clearly hopes to contain but principally for the electorate. Mo Butt should also remember that he doesn't only represent Labour voters but is head of a council that has a duty of responsibility to all Brent's residents. At the moment, Brent is beginning to look like a circus of which no-one is in control.

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    1. .... except perhaps the dog-trainer.

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    2. LOL! Indeed.

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    3. it's basic doggy psychology....or dog whispering?...

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    4. Sounds about right Davani whispers in Butt's ear and he rolls over.

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  11. seems like a meltdown- Three senior staff all gone with big payouts Mr Daniel, Mr Heaphy and Mr Newby- check out the total amounts they received (all there to see on the accounts) and then see what happened to a middle manager who tried to take a stance against an out of control senior staff.

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    1. It's a real test, isn't it, of standards and accountability in British public life. If a stand is made against this kind of moral decay, there's still some hope. If they get away with it, we're 3rd World corrupt.
      Mike Hine

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    2. The meltdown started with Butt, he got rid of Daniel because Daniel stood up to him not because he was incompetent at his job, he then got rid of practically all of CMT those he considered close to Daniels, anyone with an ounce of integrity had to go. Butt be very careful your day of reckoning is not very far. Davani and company can't cover your back forever.

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  12. Butt needs to take heed before attending tonight's meeting: Labour councils around the country are looking decidedly dog-eared as they fail to deal adequately with historic and current wrongs. Witness Newham's ill-advised court action against the redoutable E15Mums who took over the empty, habitable homes on the Carpernter's Estate. This has served only to further highlight the absurdity not only of housing policy but of local authority top-down decision-making. Now Walthamstow is in the frame for the same behaviour. And then there's Labour councils' closed ears to child abuse. Does Cllr Butt want Brent to join the LA laughing-stock list? The shenanigans at the top of the council's management team with its Ofsted cronyism/marriages... is ensuring that will be the outcome even without Butt's anti-democratic 'over the shoulder' comment. The times they are 'a changing, Cllr Butt. Accountability is what matters. It needs to be seen to be done, not merely the subject of fine-sounding words.

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    1. All in all - I don't hold out much hope - as they could have done something a very long time ago....May, 4th September and up until now. There is something downright dirty and corrupt at this council and it looks as though no one - those appointed or elected are going to do anyting about it. With all the comments and indeed the judgement - it is more than a joke. They will just dismiss this as the voice of a few and carry on wasting my money as a tax payer in lining their on palms and make decisions to satisfy their own egos. IF they think that their decisions are for the good of the borough - I suggest they stop - ask us mere normal folk and we will tell you that I'd rather put the money into a more worthy cause e.g. education and housing as opposed to trying to clear the name of the corrupt few. ....Just a question. if the council wins the appeal - are they saying that the practices of this department are correct and acceptable?...if so, this is also worrying. Pavey - what are your thoughts?

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  13. Add Copland \ Davies to the list of Brent issues that have covered up to protect the few at the top

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  14. Every 4 years.....so that more and more damage can be done and more failure to take action when the Council has been brought into disrepute having been found against in An employment Tribunal.

    It's very questionable what Labour are doing for Brent and residents need to open their eyes and use their voting power at the next election.

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