Sunday, 7 June 2015

Brent Council searches for Head Of Equality against background of racial discrimination finding

Kilburn Times September 25th 2014
Brent Council has advertised for a Head of Equality with a closing date of June 15th. and interviews in early July. The new Chief Executive Carolyn Downs' appointment is due to be ratified at the Council meeting on June 26th. The appointment takes place at a time when there has still been no disciplinary or competency procedures over the Employment Tribunal finding that Brent Council and Cara Davani, Head of Brent Human Resources, had racially discriminated against an employee,  victimised her and constructively dismissed her.

The job could be a bit of a hot potato.  It will be interesting to see if there are any applications from ex-Ofsted or Tower Hamlets employees.

Meanwhile perhaps Wembley Matters readers would like to nominate somone for the post.

Head of Equality

Ref 14849
Location Brent
Department Corporate and Business Support
Business unit HR and Administration
Salary range: £48,477 - £51,441 p.a. inc.

Creating Opportunities. Improving Lives.

Brent is a tremendously vibrant London borough where the iconic arch of Wembley Stadium dominates the skyline. Spanning both inner and outer London, it is a borough of huge contrasts in terms of its economic, environmental, ethnic and social make up. Brent’s diversity is evident to all who visit our borough and our long history of ethnic and cultural diversity has created a place that is truly unique and valued by those who live and work here.

The council is pursuing a far-reaching transformation agenda that better meets the needs of our community so it is an exciting time to join us.

The Post

Understanding diversity and tackling inequality has never been more important, as the council has to respond creatively and constructively to address the needs of its residents, meet its statutory responsibilities and continue to demonstrate its community leadership. The Equality Team leads the council's work on equality, diversity, cohesion and human rights. As the Head of the Equality Team, you will drive the integration of effective diversity and equality practice into everything the council does as a locality leader, as a provider and commissioner of services and as an employer.

The Person

You will have extensive knowledge of equality, diversity and inclusion good practice and an understanding of the challenges that local government faces today. You will be able to apply this knowledge at a strategic and operational level in order to improve the lives of local communities and strengthen equality, diversity and inclusion in our workforce.

You will have the ability to build effective relationships at all levels to drive the continuous improvement of equality, diversity and inclusion practices in Brent. You will be expected to provide confident and practical leadership to ensure the council meets its legal, business and reputational responsibilities.

If you share our vision and passion for the vital role of equality, diversity and inclusion in local government, we welcome your application.

Closing Date: 15 June 2015 (23:59)
Assessment Date: w/c 29 June 2015
Interviews: w/c 6 July 2015

Additional Information

Brent Council values the diversity of its community and aims to have a workforce that reflects this and therefore encourage applications from all sections of the community.

Applications are particularly welcome from people with a disability as they are under represented across the council.

All organisations and individuals who work with children and young people, or are involved in providing services for them have a duty to safeguard and promote their welfare.

We are committed to safer recruitment and safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

Before you join Brent Council, you will need to provide your National Insurance (NI) number and undergo a Home Office Standard I.D. check.

Successful applicants may be required to apply for a DBS Disclosure.

Please note CVs will not be considered as part of your application for this position.


Anonymous said...

Thank God for Cllr Pavey.

Anonymous said...

I nominate a job share between Rosemarie Clarke who has extensive knowledge of what needs to be fixed, and Nan Tewari, who has done more than anyone else to try to fix it

Anonymous said...

The new Head of Equality post could well be a "hot potato", with some parts of the job being described in terms of 'as directed by the Director of HR and Administration'. If Cara Davani still holds that role, she will be the person giving the direction, as well as being involved in short-listing and interviewing the candidates.

If the £50k p.a. salary for Head of Equality, and the costs of the staff in the Equality Team that he/she will lead, are to provide value for money for Brent, that is even more reason why the Council needs to realise that Cara Davani's position at Brent Council is untenable.

Philip Grant.

Anonymous said...

There still needs to be a thorough investigation into what has happened - including who has suffered from the poor knowledge and practice of these so-called professionals who, incidentally, have been paid more than the PM of GB. Shame on them and our Councillors for allowing such things to happen!

Anonymous said...

Oh please, Cllr Pavey's review was a total whitewash. The person who is currently in post probably had enough of Davani's interference.

Anonymous said...

If it was, it was only because a certain someone tied his hands...

Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group said...

What is really 'iconic' about LB Brent? Last December, standing outside Brent Civic Centre last December at a demo, not far from "the iconic arch of Wembley Stadium," members of Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group heard from a couple who had spent the night with their baby and its pram in the park.

Perhaps that is more 'iconic' of LB Brent than the Wembley arch and or the 'Investors in People' and 'Positiive About Disabled People' insignia that are actually awarded by central government.

What do others think is really 'iconic' about LB Brent, where Brent Housing Partnership evicts locals for vacant possession?

Anonymous said...

Hands tied or not, Pavey still declared himself to be "very happy" with the results of the review

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Perhaps he said that out of loyalty. And perhaps that loyalty was misplaced.

Anonymous said...

'Improving lives' i wonder if Rosemarie's life has improved since her encounter with Davani?

Anonymous said...

Rosemarie can work Mondays, Nan Tuesdays, Martin Wednesdays, Philip Thursdays and Mike Fridays

Anonymous said...

Davani gone

Anonymous said...

Pavey's review was a complete white wash, it ignored the facts that Cara Davani's actions put the Council into disrepute - reportedly on more than one occasion. Ironically, with regards to Equalities, such behaviour and actions would have seen a less favoured member of staff dismissed under the headings of 'Gross Misconduct' in accordance with terms and conditions set out in the Council's staff handbook, Yet our elected leadership appear to consistently cover up for her, why? Why Mr Pavey? Further, this became evident when Mr Phillip Grant was refused permission to speak on such issues of concern at a recent Scrutiny Committee meeting, in April 2015.

Nan. said...

Thank you to Anonymous 1759.

I had offered 2 years ago to undertake this work for the Council for free (background in HR and with the Commission for Racial Equality). The offer still stands........

Nan. said...

If this role is carried out effectively, its importance cannot be over-stated. To this end, Carolyn Downs, Chief Executive Designate must approve the shortlist and sit on the interview panel. This is the only way for the new post-holder to be given a fresh start and a clear mandate to root out what has become an institutionalised culture of bullying and adverse discrimination against staff.

The new post-holder will have their work cut out for them in not only having to have a good understanding of equality policies, s/he will also need a thorough understanding of the effects and consequences of adverse discrimination, particularly in this climate of cuts in service provision having the deepest impact on the poorest people amongst us.

Martin Francis said...

Thanks. Seeking confirmation if anyone can help.

Anonymous said...

So Cara Davani has finally left the building

Anonymous said...

Let's hope the hounds ran the clique and bit the Butt's!

Anonymous said...

At last............

Anonymous said...

Yes Martin the wicked witch has gone ...ding dong!

Anonymous said...

Cllr Pavey's review, according to the statement issued on Brent Council's behalf by Christine Gilbert on 26 September 2014, was set up to learn the lessons from the Rosemarie Clarke Employment Tribunal case.

However, the terms of reference for Cllr Pavey's review did not allow it to consider individual cases, so that (as he told me himself) there was nothing he could do as part of his review about the actions of Cara Davani (and Christine Gilbert) in that case.

That is why Cllr Pavey's review had failed to learn a key lesson from that case, that "even the best HR policies and practices are of little use if they are ignored by the officers who are supposed to follow them".

I tried to get Brent's Scrutiny Committee to consider this, through a Deputation to their meeting on 30 April, when Christine Gilbert and Cara Davani were in attendance to present a report on Cllr Pavey's review and the Action Plan arising from it, and could be questioned by councillors and answer the points I wished to raise.

As Anonymous at 08:26 has pointed out, I was refused permission to speak, unless I agreed not to make any reference to 'an ongoing legal case'. I explained to the committee why the case I needed to refer to in my Deputation was directly relevant to Cllr Pavey's review and the Action Plan they were considering, and that I would only be referring to "findings of fact" in the Tribunal judgement, which were final and would not affect the outstanding matter of the compensation to be awarded in the case. Despite this, to quote from the draft minutes of the meeting (published yesterday), Scrutiny Committee: 'RESOLVED - That permission to address the committee be not granted, in accordance with legal advice provided.'

Scrutiny Committee did not have to follow the legal advice given to them, but I believe that they were intimidated into doing so by Cllr Butt, sitting opposite to them at the meeting alongside Cara Davani, and giving a clear impression that she was under his "protection".

Philip Grant.