Saturday, 8 November 2014

Brent Council CEO Christine Gilbert Announces ‘Whistle Blowing Hotline’

Christine Gilbert  

                       Confidential hotline for concerned staff’ planned.

Guest Blog by 'Gilbert Harding'

Christine Gilbert, perpetual ‘interim’ CEO of Brent Council which, together with HR lead and interpersonal staff relations role-model Cara Davani, was recently found guilty of racial discrimination, victimisation and workplace bullying,  has announced her plans  to set up ‘a confidential whistle-blower hotline so that any staff who had serious concerns’ could communicate their worries to their bosses.

This would be a great relief to those many Brent Council employees who have, openly on this blog, privately to Martin Francis, and most recently and publicly to Private Eye, expressed their ‘serious concerns’ about bullying, victimisation, threats of dismissal, cronyism, gagging clauses  and corruption at Brent Council’s Civic Centre.  Such a move would be welcomed as an appropriate intervention by a leader wanting to find out what was really going on in her organisation with a view to turning a troubled situation round in an open and transparent way.  

Slightly disappointingly, however, Ms Gilbert made the whistle-blower announcement quoted above not recently but a whole 6 years ago on December 10th 2008 to a Commons Select Committee and in relation to her then job as Head of Ofsted (the previous employer also of Cara Davani, Clive Heaphy and Ark Academies employee Dame Sally Morgan).    
(Details HERE )

Nevertheless, Brent Council staff will be feeling confident that Ms Gilbert’s passionate desire to let some light into the murkier corners of institutional malpractice will not have faded since her earlier statement and that her principles remain intact.

 Indeed, one hooded and masked Civic Centre employee was relaxed enough yesterday to tell me, in an unsigned encrypted  message smuggled out  past a cordon of G4S security personnel and hidden in a camouflage-pattern green and  brown envelope :  ‘I think I can speak for all my anonymous colleagues when I say that I believe Ms Gilbert’s earlier interest in openness and transparency and her very real and publicly declared desire to tap into the honest, uncensored and unintimidated experience of the people she leads, still burn as  brightly now in 2014 as they did in 2008.’

A statement from Ms Gilbert on plans for a new updated whistle-blower hotline is now expected. But perhaps not for another 6 years.

Alternatively, less patient Civic Centre whistle-blowers may find it more productive to communicate their serious concerns more urgently to Private Eye's 'Rotten Boroughs' contact here:


(Ms Gilbert was unavailable for comment).


Anonymous said...

First thing you hear when you call Gilbert's bullying and victimisation hotline:

'Our lines are very busy at the moment ..........'

And then a familiar voice (dogs barking in background):

'Your call may be recorded for training and security purposes....'

Anonymous said...

Superb work, Gilbert. Thanks for digging this up. Who was it who said that 'a week's a long time in politics' - Labour's Harold Wilson? Factor in 6 years and...

I know I'm not alone in finding the Ofsted background of these present and former Brent officials deeply troubling...

Anonymous said...

Ofsted is incidental. They're functionaries, Anon. They'll do whatever is required by the combination of the institution's expectations and their own self-seeking ambition. The institutions are interchangeable: Catholic church, Ofsted, Brent/ Westminster/Frinton council, Stasi, the National Trust, Vichy France, political parties, Third Reich, they're just vehicles for advancement for some people and the vehicle itself is of no real consequence to them. Look at Blair. No political activity until his early twenties then sees the Labour party as his best option for career success. Hitches himself on to a machine built up by genuine people over decades and exploits it to his own advantage and the fatal detriment of 200,000 people and counting.
They're a type.They have more in common with each other than they do with any of the institutions they attach themselves to. They're opportunists. Like the Groucho Marx character: 'These are the principles on which I stand; if you don't like them I do have others'.
Don't be troubled, Anon. Research them, gather information, publish it, make a noise and help reveal them for what they are.


Anonymous said...

Gilbert is married to Tony McNulty (remember the disgraced MP in Gordon Brown's Cabinet & was not he the Minister for Education?) Talk about incestuous relationships!!! Brent is not labelled "Looney Left Council" for no good reason:)