Monday, 6 June 2016

Brent Lib Dem councillor poses questions for Cllr Oladapo investigation

Brent Councillors have been invited to submit evidence to Richard Penn's investigation into issues surrounding the death of Cllr Tayo Oladapo.

This is the submission by Brent's only Liberal Democrat councillor Dr Helen Carr:

God Bless Cllr. Tayo. I did not know him, but I am saddened his untimely death has triggered this unpleasant, but necessary enquiry.
Cllr. Tayo. Facts and Questions to be answered.
The facts are, according to my understanding, that Cllr. Tayo Oladapo had not attended Full Council for more than one calendar year. This was known, accepted and voted upon by Full Council.
The Labour Group had known about his illness for some considerable time.
His death in January was allegedly not known by the Labour Party until March.
The Labour Whip will have been responsible for moving the vote to excuse Cllr. Oladappo from attending Full Council.
Questions to be answered:
Within any political party (Labour in this case), what are/what is the nature of the procedures to report an absence?
At what point is an absence sufficient to effectively terminate a Councillor’s duty?
Who is the person responsible for checking, monitoring, regulating and reporting when there is an absence :
  1. Within a political party?
  2. Within Brent?
Within a political party, who and what are the procedures to report and pass on information regarding an absence, illness or death?
Are there any (in this case, within the Labour Party), if so, were they met? If not, why not?
At what point should or could a bi election have been called? What should/would have triggered the call for a bi election? Attendance and death is obvious and measurable, but what of sanity? Ill health – at what point and who decides if a Councillor is Fit for Purpose? (the definition being ..?).
Was information withheld? By Whom? When? Why? How? What evidence is available?
In this particular case, is the Labour Party responsible for procedures, or Brent Council’s Chief Executive? Where does the burden of proof lie? Or do the political parties have no responsibility for identifying and passing on such information?


Anonymous said...

Is there a time after which hospital staff are obliged to register deaths of patients who die in hospital should contacting relatives of friends prove unsuccessful?

Anonymous said...

I do not believe it is the responsibility of hospital staff to register a death. Qualified medical staff(I.e. doctors) certify that a person has died. If they were then to be given the task to register the death not only would this place an unnecessary extra burden upon them it could place them in an unenviable position of any accusations against them
It needs to be an independent person from another organisation - usually a relative once they have been informed. This where the police may be involved in forming a link in that chain.

Anonymous said...

Is there then a time limit on informing the police should relatives not be reasonable found ?@

Philip Grant said...

It is good to see Cllr. Helen Carr contributing to the discussion on this matter.

Although it is not one of the points for Richard Penn's investigation to consider and make recommendations on, the role of Brent's lone Lib Dem councillor is perhaps one that the Constitutional Working Group should look at. Seats on Council committees are allocated by reference to the size of political groups. Because she is currently the sole elected councillor from her party, Cllr. Carr is not treated as a Lib Dem "group".

The same would apply to any individual independent elected members of the Council. But because of this Cllr Carr, though as able as many other councillors to contribute their knowledge and experience to the discussions of a Council committee, is denied the chance to serve on one. Surely that doesn't make sense?


Alison Hopkins said...

I've a feeling it has to go to a formal coroners inquest to decide registration.

Anonymous said...

I think that the problem in Councillor Oladapo's case is that his family did not live in this country but in Africa and there was delay before his mother was able to come over and register his death. She may well have needed to get visas in order to do this. I would guess that the hospital completely fulfilled their duties in this respect. They would no doubt have utilised the "next of kin" details given by the patient.