Wednesday 10 February 2016

Brent 'Independent Persons' ads due out next week

Fiona Alderman, Brent Council's Chief Legal Officer, has confirmed that Mildred Philip's Head of Brent Council Human Resources will be advertising for Independent Persons next week.

Philip Grant followed up Brent's failure to fill the posts with Carolyn Downs, Brent Council's Chief Executive on February 8th. LINK  The Independent Person fulfils the requirements of the Localism Act 2011 in addressing complaints about alleged breaches of the Members' Code of Conduct reported to the Standards Committee as well as a new role in the dismissal of 'certain statutory officers'.

Philip Grant commented:
I don't know whether Mildred Phillips would have got round to advertising the Independent Person vacancies 'next week' without a little reminder from me, via Brent's Chief Executive!
If you are interested in helping Brent Council maintain (or perhaps that should be 'improve') its standards look out for the advertisements.


Philip Grant said...

As I have highlighted in previous guest blogs, Brent does not appear to have had any properly appointed Independent Person(s) for Standards purposes since May 2014.

This may be one of the reasons why its Monitoring Officer was able to get away with claiming (in her Annual Report for 2015) that nine out of the sixteen complaints she received (from members of the public, Council staff and councillors) about breaches of the Members' Code of Conduct by Brent councillors DID NOT actually involve any possible breach of that Code of Conduct!

Brent's Director of HR had told General Purposes Committee on 16 December 2015 that she would be advertising the vacancies for Independent Persons in January 2016, and this assurance was repeated by the Monitoring Officer to Standards Committee on 7 January 2016.

It should not have been necessary for a member of the public (me) to have to write to Brent's Chief Executive on 8 February to enquire when the vacant posts, which it is essential are filled as soon as possible by effective and politically independent local people, would actually be advertised.


Anonymous said...

What has happened to the Partners For Brent Members - do they not have any influence in this situation.

Philip Grant said...


The advert for the three Independent Persons posts finally appeared on Brent Council's "Jobs and Careers" website on Saturday 20 February. Applications have to be submitted by Sunday 6 March 2016.