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).