Thursday, 26 February 2015

Disbelief as Brent Council choose Cara Davani to head up its Equalities Team!

There was disbelief today when the Kilburn Times LINK reported that Cara Davani, Head of Brent's Human resources and found by Watford Employment Tribunal to have racially discriminated against, victimised and constructively dismissed a black council worker will - wait for it - head up Brent Council's Equalities Team!

This is an insult to  Cara Davani's victim, Brent Council workers and Brent residents.

How on earth can anyone have any faith in our Council in the face of such an incredible decision?


  1. Incredible. The hits keep coming.

  2. Insult to Injury.

    Brent Council have become a laugh stock.

    In recent years with all the hype of a new civic centre and new logo etc sadly this is not enough Brent Council needs a totally new organizational culture.

    To get that new culture, those at the Top Have To Go. Until then Brent Council will not change.

    1. Jihadi John for chair of the Health and Safety Executive, anyone?

      Mike Hine

  3. No faith whatsoever, Corruption of the highest order.


  4. Do any of you have a better candidate in mind for the Equalities role?
    We have a judge's word for the fact that racial discrimination, victimisation and dealing with whistleblowers are all areas which Ms Davani has experience and expertise in.
    The Leader has had a much longer and closer working relationship with Brent's Head of HR than anyone else can claim (except Ms Gilbert, of course) and in appointing Cara to watch over 'Equalities', Cllr Butt is simply showing his faith in the old saying:
    'Set a thief to catch a thief'.

    Mike Hine

  5. I am just totally disgusted but not surprised.
    'Instead a spokeswoman said: “The findings of any tribunal judgement in which the council is involved require careful reflection. That has certainly happened in the Clarke case where lessons have been learnt at an individual and organisational level.

    “An adverse tribunal decision should not automatically lead to disciplinary proceedings.”

    Commenting on Ms Davani leading the equalities team, she said: “Following a national advert, our HR director was appointed in early 2013 by a cross party elected member panel and equalities has always been in her remit.
    “Under her leadership we have radically improved our approach to equalities as shown by our progress towards excellence in the equality framework for local government and to the achievement of the gold level for investors in people.”

    Under Cara Davani they lost the silver level they had before she turned up. Only after several months was it restored. You cannot make it up, meanwhile staff are left de-motivated, the general attitude is now from staff that I have spoken to is that 'we've gotten to the point where we couldn't care less about the place anymore'
    Staff who have loved their jobs now feel so despondent that they can't wait to get out. What a slap in the face. Pavey's finding that staff are generally happy, what a load of drivel. I am just flabbergasted.

  6. Butt is closer to Davani that Gilbert

  7. After last year's failure to bring back Rotten Boroughs silverware to Brent, Mo Butt is leaving nothing to chance. With this display of cronyism, misplaced loyalty, defending the indefensible in order to pay back debts he should never have got himself into and offering two fingers to the people who elected him, Cllr Butt has put in an early bid to take Lutfur Rahman's crown as London local government's dodgy geezer of the year.
    Punters would be rash to make a major move this early in the year but Paddy Power's current odds of 7 to 4 on for Brent to get 'Embarrassing Council of 2015 Award' in the Private Eye voting later this year is already beginning to look like a sound investment .

  8. This was announced on the same day that the report on Savile came out. Different degree obviously but the principles have things in common. Abuse of power. Victims speaking up but being ignored or worse. People threatened or bought off. Whistleblowers either ignored or told to shut and treated as if they were the problem. Certain people regarded as 'untouchable'. Those in a position to do something about it too compromised by their own misdeeds or too gutless to act. The sheep, by their inaction, colluding with the criminal.
    Yet to come?:
    The final public realisation when it's become too blatant to ignore.
    The public shaming of the main actors.
    The 'oh, if only I'd known' bit from those who let it happen.
    The crocodile tears.
    This whole process took 40 years in the Savile case.

  9. There IS an opportunity to hold those responsible to account, and that is at Monday evening's Full Council meeting.

    Although I will not be able to present my Deputation on the subject of the Employment Tribunal case at that meeting (see my guest blog "Another Deputation that Brent Council will not hear", just below this blog), I have sent a copy of it, with a forwarded email I had sent to Cllr. Butt, to all elected members of Brent Council. I have suggested to the Council Leader, and to his colleagues, that he could be given the opportunity of answering the two questions I raised under "Urgent Business" at the end of the Council meeting. Whether a matter is "urgent business" is at the discretion of the Mayor (or his Deputy) chairing the Full Council meeting.

    Why should he answer my questions? Here is my response: this is a matter which has been festering for too long, because the Council and its Leader have not ensured that it is dealt with. Cllr. Butt needs to tell councillors, Council staff and Brent residents either why he believes there is no problem, or if he accepts that there is a problem, what the Council is doing about it.

    I have not heard back from Cllr. Butt, other than the usual automatic acknowledgement message, but I have heard from several councillors in response. The first I received was from a Labour member, who told me: 'You have no chance. Kana will do as told, always.' However, there are other members of the Council who believe that this matter does need to be dealt with properly, and have said that they will ask the Mayor to treat it as "urgent business".

    The Mayor is meant to act in a neutral / non-party way in his role of Chair (in a similar way to the Speaker of the House of Commons), and I hope, for the sake of local democracy, that he will. We will see on Monday evening whether there is still any decency left in the Council, or whether Anonymous of 27 February at 08:31 is correct in commenting: 'No faith whatsoever, Corruption of the highest order.'

    Philip Grant

    1. I hope that there is some decency left and that some council members will not just hold their noses and remain silent. The Jimmy Saville case is a good comparison and shows what happens when people fail to speak out.

    2. And they have the cheek to ask staff to update their equalities information.

    3. Could you enlarge on this, let us know what you mean, please? All info is useful and means they can't depend on people's silence.

  10. Slightly edited comment (edit in brackets) 12.34 I would not hold out any hope of that happening, the fact that she's still there after being (found guilty of racial discrmination, victimisation and constructive dismissal) says it all. Hope went a long time ago as did decency, when both Ann and Gareth left the building.