Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Duffy claims he was punished by Butt & Co for saving council tax payers up to £500k

Councillor John Duffy (Labour Kilburn) reveals in his blog today LINK that he is snubbed by the Council's Labour leadership and some other members of the Labour group scarcely speak to him. 

This is despite his vigilance over the green waste contract that was out-sourced to Veolia.  Duffy successfully challenged a clause that gave Veolia any income from the scheme once the collection target of £400k had been achieved. His claim that this would be illegal was eventually supported by the Chief Finance Officer despite Duffy initially getting the brush off from the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council when he raised concerns.

Duffy says:
You may think Brent Council Labour group thanks me for this. No the leadership of Brent Council Labour group are unforgiving that I forced this amendment, they took me off all committees; many of the Labour group hardly talk to me or shy away. They seat me next to the Tory group (a fate worse than death) as they believe by forcing the amendment I undermined their authority. One member of the Cabinet accused me of bullying officers because I would not let it drop. I am not allowed to speak at full council. If I do members of the cabinet heckle me.
Cllr Duffy claims that the Council could benefit by up to £500k  in contrast to the council tax money that Veolia would have handed to the contractor. He is concerned, however, that the additional money will be spent on Council vanity projects rather than supporting vital services.

Concluding his posting Duffy says he is going on holiday but on his return will  reveal why St Patrick's Day may not be coming to Brent and 'the tale of the missing nomination'.


Anonymous said...

Great to see a lone Councillor speaking up for people of Brent.

Port Brent leadership seen to want to give to those who already have enough.

Anonymous said...

Finally a councillor with some backbone! Whether you agree with Duffy's politics or not you have to admire him for not being cowed into silence like the rest of them.

He won't last, obviously. He'll be replaced at the next election by some Stopp-like drone.

Anonymous said...

The usual fate of whistleblowers and those who point out that there are no new clothes and that the emperor is Butt naked.
Snubbed by that lot?: a badge of honour, mate.

Anonymous said...

Hi Martin. Please could you make the formatting of your articles consistent, please? The inconsistent line breaks all over the page are very distracting and probably damage the environment due to wasted space.

Anonymous said...

Bless you Sam, but the hot air you spout more than offsets the environmental impact of this blog

Anonymous said...

******** excellent comment hit the nail on the head

Anonymous said...

SAVE DUFFY man of the people there is nothing vain and self serving about him.

Anonymous said...

Go Duffy, a Brent labour councillor with a spine. Change can start with just 1 so let's hope the others collecting a paycheck at the each month will finally wake and remember why they were elected. Us residents do have long memories and will vote them out. Nobody likes a spineless suck-up.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Duffy will install a new Chemistry Fit for Carolyn Downs to appreciate..

Nan. said...

Once council cabinet positions are awarded to to those whose faces fit and not to those who have the knowledge and ability, we residents will always be at a disadvantage.

Cllr Duffy has previous experience in this area and has clearly demonstrated his knowledge.

The fact that Cllr Butt refused to accept Cllr Duffy's amendment calls into question
(a) Cllr Butt's competence as a guardian of the public finances of the council and
(b) whether there was something more sinister going on in the unseemly enthusiasm for giving public money away to a private company and
(c) whether there are other contracts elsewhere in the council that have not benefitted from Cllr Duffy-style scrutiny.

It remains to be seen whather Cllr Filson's Scrutiny task group into the implementation of the garden waste charge will actually examine the issue without fear or favour.

Anonymous said...

Cllr Duffy's blog is new and awareness of it is limited. Could everyone who is impressed with his break away from Labour councillors' self-serving gutlessness or sheer bovine stupidity please support and contribute comments to his blog.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like another investigation should take place with public FOI requests..

Anonymous said...

I agree. It seems Butt has a lot to answer for -- from the days when he participated in the orchestration of Gareth Daniels departure, endorsing a culture of large payoffs, and opportunistically turned a blind eye to the actions of the Cronies

Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group said...

Wembley Matters blog administrator Martin has written:

"I prefer commenters to give their names. Even if you use the technically easier 'Anonymous' button to make a comment you can still put your name at the end."

While my 'Dude Swheatie of Kwug' is not a formal name identifier, it is more helpful than 'Anonymous' and I too prefer some form of differential naming to comments submitted via the 'anonymous' log-in way of commenting.

Nan. said...

At the Council meeting (which I watched on the web broadcast) Conservative councillor John Warren did not wish to take up nominations to various committees and chose instead to nominate Labour Cllr Duffy to Audit, Corporate Parenting, Health & Well-being and Standards. This was obviously never going to happen because the Local Govt and Housing Act of 1989 talks about the requirement for political balance on committees.

It occurred to me however that there is a solid case for reform of the system so that committees are formed of people with the relevant skills and knowledge of the subject who can command the respect of their fellow elected councillors of whatever hue Such a system would also have the merit of commanding the confidence of the public who councillors are there to serve.

In my very humble opinion therefore, the legislative requirement ought to be for political balance in making nominations to committees rather than for the balance to be on the comittee seats themselves. By this means, we could actually ameliorate the ill-effects of petty party-politicking.

Oh well, it was just a thought - and I did say "humble opinion"......... and I do recognise that it will only benefit the public so therefore not worth all the upheaval etc........

Anonymous said...

Duffy Butt to make it Stopp!

Anonymous said...

You'll get snubbed coming up with rational and well-argued stuff like that.

Mike Hine

Nan. said...

Promise I won't let it happen again, Mike.........

Anonymous said...

Re:'Duffy successfully challenged a clause that gave Veolia any income from the scheme once the collection target of £400k had been achieved. His claim that this would be illegal was eventually supported by the Chief Finance Officer despite Duffy initially getting the brush off from the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council when he raised concerns.'

Based on LB Brent's collection target of £400k (£400,000.00) and the individual household annual charge of £40.00
Brent would have recognised that all they needed was for TEN THOUSAND householders to pay the dues to meet the cost.

When councillors held their meeting to discuss this additional charge to residents, did they not check Council's records to see how many households continuously pay their council tax and so guage what sort of fee was required to meet the target of FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS. Had they done this basic maths then the charge could have been a more honest sum.

VEOLIA is a MULTI-NATIONAL company. Why would any housholder want to give them money when so many are struggling to make ends meet. We were forced to pay this cost or have our green bins removed. Amongst the residents who paid, there would be many who are pensioners and others who are juggling working and caring for their families, etc

When the money collected exceeded that target, then in all honesty, should Brent Council not then have credited a refund to the council tax account of each housholder who paid, rather than consider giving away the money of their residents to VEOLIA OR ANY OTHER COMPANY.

When incidents like these occur, then surely there should be an investigation into negligence, and whether the persons concerned in the decision had a vested interest.

My thanks to Cllr Duffy for speaking up on behalf of residents. I always foolishly thought that that is what one's Local Authority was about!! Shame on those councillors who sit there and are bullied into silence or to lazy to offer a caring and honest opinion, or is it that they have no opinions and just sit in at these meetings enjoying being paid by residents for doing ZILCH, to protect residents' interests.

I would give my name, but I am afraid to do so because of lack of trust in Councillors who behave worse than bullies at school when they will not permit another member to speak openly. What do they want to or have to hide??

The media used to call Brent 'BARMY BRENT', maybe it still does, I do not know.