Monday, 31 October 2016

"We are the Lions" has opened to much praise and is stimulating solidarity with Deliveroo, Uber drivers and Durham teaching assistants

 From Grunwick 40

 "We Are The Lions", the exhibition about the Grunwick strike is open and it's getting a fantastic reception! 

"History pulsating from the walls"

"A wonderful display of such an important, inspiring and pivotal moment in history"

You can read some of the press coverage herehere and here. What's more, you can also watch curator  Poulomi Desai talk about the exhibition on London Live here and listen to her too on the Robert Elms show (39 mins in).

We're really delighted at the feedback so don't forget to visit yourself! Click here for opening times and details.

Some upcoming events

This Weds 2nd November, we meet at SOAS for a screening of the "The Great Grunwick Strike" film. Directed by Chris Thomas in 2007 and featuring original footage and interviews, the film tells the inspiring story of the strike and the people behind it. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Amrit Wilson (writer and activist), Conseulo Moreno (SOAS Justice for Cleaners Campaign) and Sujata Aurora (chair of Grunwick 40). The discussion will be chaired by Parvathi Raman of the SOAS Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies who have co-organised the event. Admission is free and there's no need to book, just turn up at 7pm to the Khalili Lecture Theatre at SOAS (Click here for details and a map).

The legal ruling last week on Uber drivers' employment rights has brought into sharp focus the issues of the so-called "gig economy" where many migrant workers are now concentrated. On 26th November we'll be bringing together activists, trade unionists, campaigners and thinkers, to discuss the legacy of the Grunwick strike and the new terrains for resistance. We'll be tracing the thread of what links Grunwick to current struggles for justice and participants will include the Durham teaching assistants and others currently in dispute. "From Grunwick to Deliveroo: getting organised, getting unionised" takes place from 10am-4.30pm in Willesden. Admission is free but registration is essential. Click here to book.

Finally, we are still working on the permissions and the paperwork for the unveiling of the mural and hope to make an announcement soon. In the meantime you can get a sneak preview of some of the work that went into the mural at the "We Are The Lions exhibition".

We look forward to seeing you either at the exhibition or at one of our November events.


The Grunwick 40 team

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Does Fairtrade have a future? Public debate November 17th



Brent Fairtrade Network is joining with Fairtrade groups in Harrow, Ealing, Hounslow, Richmond and Kingston to host a debate on the future of Fairtrade on
Thursday 17 November 7-9 pm at St Martin’s Church, Kensal Green,
Mortimer Road, NW10 5SN.

All are welcome and entry is free. We shall be discussing topics such as the following:

   Is the Fairtrade model still a good one?
   Why not a Fairtrade label for manufactured goods?
   Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade: are two labels needed?
   Why do we need the Fairtrade Sourcing Programme?
   Workers’ wages and rights raised by the critical SOAS report in 2014 “Fairtrade, Employment and Poverty Reduction in Ethiopia and Uganda”
   What is the future of ethical certification?
   How should Fairtrade respond to the proliferation of schemes?

We have a great line up of speakers to discuss these topics with:

   Anne Cooper, Oxfam
   Barbara Crowther, Fairtrade Foundation
   Stuart Singleton-White, Rainforest Alliance
   Vidya Rangan, ISEAL: global movement of sustainability standards

The event starts at 7 pm with Fairtrade refreshments and stall: bring cash or cheques for early Christmas shopping. From 7.30 pm we shall hear briefly from the speakers on the topics above before opening up discussion, ending by 9 pm. 

If you plan to attend please register:  This helps us with the planning – but you are welcome to come even without registering.

The Autumn glory of a Brent council estate

There are many stereotypes surrounding council estates and impressed by the beauty of the King's Drive/Pilgrims Way estate in Wembley I thought I would share some pictures with you that will perhaps challenge the stereotype and show that social housing estates can be beautiful.

The estate is in a corner of what is now Fryent Country park and is built on part of a larger site on which prefabs (temporary housing for bombed out families) were built by German prisoners of war in 1946-7.  The majority of the housing is still rented or lease holder with some private after the council right-to-buy of the Thatcher era.

A claim to fame is that Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts lived on the estate and was expelled from his home to practise his drumming in the surrounding fields. Follow these links for more LINK LINK LINK

Accounts of the time speak of the 200 or so prefab children who used to play in what seemed like countryside surrounding the prefabs and today it is still a wonderful rare place for children to be able to play out safely with their friends.  They can have adventures, play hide and seek and pick blackberries just 15 minutes walk from Wembley Stadium.

Built on a gentle slope which goes down to Fryent Way with Barn Hill to the north the estate benefits from the retention of many mature trees when the prefabs were replaced with blocks of flats and staggered terraced housing in the 80s.

The trees enhance the estate not just with their beauty but as a habitat for birds and mopping up air pollution, screening traffic noise and providing cool in the hottest of summers. I always notice a difference when I get home after a hot and dusty day in Central London.

Some of the trees, particularly the flowering cherries, are at the end of their lifetime and I do hope that Brent Housing Partnership will replace them to preserve the estate's beauty. Another problem is that Veolia, the council's Public Realm contractor, has a habit of taking a chainsaw to shrubs and,  irrespective of their natural shape, reducing them to cuboids or spheres sheering off buds or berries.

I have posted a gallery of pictures below which I hope illustrate the power of trees to enhance a semi-urban landscape:

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Cracks appear in Labour's approach to pavements as Barnet Labour calls for choice

Image from RAT - Resistance Against Tarmac

So, continuing to look at what our neighbouring boroughs are doing and saying, here is Barnet Labour Party (in opposition) taking a rather different approach  to Brent Labour (in power) on the tarmac versus paving debate.  LINK:

Tarmac v Paving: Labour call for residents to be given a choice over pavement resurfacing

Labour councillors are calling for residents to be given a choice between tarmac and paving slabs for pavement resurfacing after receiving complaints about newly completed tarmac treatments in Beresford Road, East Finchley, and a petition from residents living in Granville Road N12.

The Granville Road petition, which will be discussed at the Finchley & Golders Green Area Committee on 26 October, says: “The overwhelming majority of people we spoke to do not want a cheaper tarmac surface on the pavements if this is indeed the proposal. There are many concerns about how it will look, that it will bring down the appearance of the road, that it will be uneven, that it won't last and will crack, that it will become sticky in the summer, that it will encourage even more vehicle drivers to mount the pavement.”

The petition also states that residents are given only two weeks’ notice of pavement works with no real way to respond as the contact number given on the letters is not answered and messages left have not been returned by the Council.

Barnet Council has received seven separate complaints from residents in Beresford Road about the tarmac resurfacing recently completed there which has featured in the Evening Standard on 13 October.

The Conservative-run Council are planning to save £550,000 in reactive road and pavement maintenance by moving to different resurfacing methods. For pavements this means completely replacing paving with tarmac or using tarmac with some block paving for vehicle crossovers and margins. Only pavements in town centres and conservation areas will have paving slabs replaced.

The new tarmac pavement treatments form part of plans by the Council to spend £50m on road and pavement resurfacing across the borough between 2015-2020. However, the Council’s published news release on the issue (20 October) showed a picture of paving slabs being used rather than tarmac. Labour councillors believe this is misleading to the public. The letters sent to residents have also been totally misleading as they have stated "we will be laying paving in your road", despite the fact the Council intends to use tarmac.

Labour councillors have also highlighted complaints from residents about the cheaper road surface dressing that leaves loose chips on roads.

Repair of roads and quality of pavements are two of the lowest rated universal services in Barnet according to the Council’s most recent Residents’ Perception Survey.

Only 27% of residents responding to the Survey rated repair of roads highly – 14% points lower than London (41%), and down 8% points from autumn 2015 (35%); and only 33% of residents rated quality of pavements highly – 8% points lower than London (41%), and down 1% point on autumn 2015 (34%).

The Survey also showed that the state of roads and pavements is the second highest concern amongst residents.

Barnet Labour's Environment Spokesperson, Cllr Alan Schneiderman said:
The decision to use tarmac rather than paving stones has been imposed without residents being consulted. Residents have also been misled by being sent letters saying that paving will be laid in their road when in fact they have no choice but tarmac.

We need to do all we can to minimise trips and falls and repair footways, but I want to see residents given a choice between using paving stones or tarmac for their road.
Wembley Matters additional comment:

Just in case one of the Brent Conervatibe groups wants to take up the issue this is what Barnet Conservatives (in power) had to say LINK:

According to Cllr Dean Cohen, Conservative for Golders Green, asphalt is being used in “appropriate areas” because it is “safer, more durable and cheaper to maintain over their life”.

Cllr Cohen, who chairs the environment committee, said: “We know that the quality of pavements is a top priority for residents which is why we are investing £8m this year alone on footways.

“Asphalt surfaces enable a greater number of roads to benefit from the programme of investment – this was a committee decision which Labour members did not oppose.

“The council will continue to engage with residents as clearly as possible ahead of work taking place."

Camden Council leader condemns lack of political oversight and public engagement in STP

It is often instructive to look at what Councils in our neighbouring boroughs are doing and saying. This is a press release from Camden's Labour leader. Camden's STP is different from the NW London plan which includes Brent but the overall approach is the same.
The NHS in the north central London area – which represents Camden, Haringey, Islington, Barnet and Enfield – has submitted a draft Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) to NHS England.

This has been developed by a host of NHS organisations with the support of officials from the area’s local authorities to propose changes to the way services are delivered, to make them more effective and efficient.

Councillor Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council, said:
There is a national crisis in both the health and social care systems - both need to change and we recognise that they could be more efficient. That said, I have serious reservations about the Sustainability and Transformation Plan process so far.

There has been no political oversight, and minimal public and patient engagement. At present, there is a lack of appropriate focus on adult social care. That lack of public, patient and political involvement is why I am publishing this document on our website. It is vital that there is full transparency in Camden as this work progresses.

The next stage is for the bodies involved to respond to this draft plan and we will be consulting residents and patients on our response over the coming weeks. Local Authorities see first-hand the impact of the profound health inequalities that exist in the north central London area. In the light of this, we’ll be using our role to influence the future quality of local social care and to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents.

As the provider and commissioner of social care services in Camden we want to be sure that future needs are reflected in this plan. We will be holding a number of public events to gather the views of residents before our response to the draft plan is considered in public by Camden’s cabinet.

Friday, 28 October 2016

GMB puts employers on notice after Uber victory

Great money? £5.03 an hour after costs and fees.

 From the GMB union
 Similar contracts masquerading as bogus self employment will all be reviewed says GMB
GMB, the union for professional drivers, has won their case against Uber as the London Employment Tribunal has determined that Uber has acted unlawfully by not providing drivers with basic workers’ rights. (see notes to editors for previous press releases)

GMB brought two test cases to the Central London Employment Tribunal on 20 July 2016 and it has decided that Uber drivers are entitled to receive holiday pay, a guaranteed minimum wage and an entitlement to breaks. The Tribunal decision will have major implications for over 30,000 drivers in London and across England and Wales and for workers in other occupations.

GMB found last year that a member working exclusively for Uber received just £5.03 per hour in August after costs and fees were taken into account, significantly below the national minimum wage of £7.20. Lawyers for the drivers also argued that Uber acts unlawfully by frequently deducting sums from drivers’ pay, often without informing the drivers in advance, including when customers make complaints.

Maria Ludkin, GMB Legal Director, said:
This is a monumental victory that will have a hugely positive impact on over 30,000 drivers in London and across England and Wales and for thousands more in other industries where bogus self-employment is rife.

Uber drivers and other directed workers do have legal rights at work. The question for them now is how those rights are enforced in practice. The clear answer is that the workforce must combine into the GMB union to force the company to recognise these rights and to negotiate fair terms and conditions for the drivers.

This loophole that has allowed unscrupulous employers to avoid employment rights, sick pay and minimum wage for their staff and costing the government millions in lost tax revenue will now be closed.

Uber drivers and thousands of others caught in the bogus self-employment trap will now enjoy the same rights as employees. This outcome will be good for passengers too. Properly rewarded drivers are the same side of the coin as drivers who are properly licensed and driving well maintained and insured vehicles.

GMB will be getting on with the business of campaigning and recruiting at Uber to ensure our members’ rights are respected.

GMB will give evidence to the new Taylor review on terms and conditions within the sectors of the economy offering precarious employment. We will make the case that average hours worked over the past 12 weeks should be deemed to be the contracted hours of work for those on zero hours as it already is for maximum hours of work under the Working Time Directive.

GMB puts employers on notice that we are reviewing similar contracts masquerading as bogus self employment, particularly prevalent in the so called ‘gig economy’. This is old fashioned exploitation under newfangled jargon, but the law will force you to pay GMB members what they are rightfully due.
 Nigel Mackay, Leigh Day employment lawyer, said:

We are delighted that the Employment Tribunal has found in favour of our clients.
This judgment acknowledges the central contribution that Uber’s drivers have made to Uber’s success by confirming that its drivers are not self-employed but that they work for Uber as part of the company’s business.

Uber drivers often work very long hours just to earn enough to cover their basic living costs. It is the work carried out by these drivers that has allowed Uber to become the multi-billion-dollar global corporation it is.

We are pleased that the employment tribunal has agreed with our arguments that drivers are entitled to the most basic workers’ rights, including to be paid the National Minimum Wage and to receive paid holiday, which were previously denied to them.
This is a ground-breaking decision. It will impact not just on the thousands of Uber drivers working in this country, but on all workers in the so-called gig economy whose employers wrongly classify them as self-employed and deny them the rights to which they are entitled.

Pro-Heathrow Cllr Stopp throws his hat into Richmond by-election ring

Sam Stopp, the Labour councillor for Wembley Central, has signalled via Twitter, that he intends to put himself forward as the Labour candidate for Richmond in the wake of Zac Goldsmith's resignation over Heathrow.

The Liberal Democrats are the second party in Richmond and Labour MP Clive Lewis has urged Labour to stand down to enable a Tory defeat.

Stopp is adamant that Labour should stand and has said he will stand on a pro-Heathrow third runway ticket advocating growth and job creation.

Stopp was a supporter of Yvette Cooper's leadership bid and this time round supported Owen Smith, declaring that he was embarrassed by Brent Central's support for Corbyn.

He rejects any notion of a progressive alliance whilst we still have a first past the post elelction system.

Cllr Stopp is Chair of the Labour Campaign to End Homelessness.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Brent Council Tax set to rise by 3.99% in 2017-18 and 2018-19

This is the official Decision Minute of Monday's Brent Cabinet meeting:

This report sets out draft budget proposals for 2017/18 and 2018/19.  Subject to the results of consultation it is envisaged that these would then form the basis of the budget to be agreed at the Full Council meeting of February 2017.
Additional documents:
1.    Cabinet noted the overall financial position.
2.    Cabinet endorsed the savings previously agreed, as set out in Appendix One.
3.    Cabinet agreed to consult on new draft policy options, as summarised in Appendix two and detailed in Appendix Three.
4.    Cabinet agreed to consult on council tax increases of 3.99% in each of 2017/18 and 2018/19.
5.    Cabinet endorsed the technical assumptions underpinning the budget as set out throughout the report.
6.    Cabinet authorised the drawdown of further capital resources to support delivery of the temporary accommodation reform plan, as set out on paragraph 6.7.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Brent residents revolt over tarmac pavements: 'Trees NOT tarmuck!'


Up early to protest

Residents in Chandos Road were out early this morning to catch the council and contractors before they started pulling up the paving stones and chopping down some of the lovely old trees that line this Edwardian street. People had chalked the pavements and decorated the trees expressing their disgust at the council's refusal to listen to those who live there. 

The Council are replacing paving stones with black tarmac.* Local people say it would be cheaper and more environmentally friendly just to replace the broken slabs. The trees, some of which residents paid for are a beautiful asset they don't want to lose.

As you can see above residents made an excellent case to Council officials to no avail.

Support the residents on RAT Resistance Against Tarmac Facebook LINK

* On roads where houses have driveways the tarmac is broken up by block paving on the drop kerbs but on terraced streets with little or no front garden and thus no driveway the tarmac is continuous. Block paving is far more intricate and time consuming to lay.

Block paving on Mallard Way, Kingsbury
Mallard Way today


Brent Cabinet decision on North West London STP published

This is the official decision notice about the NW London Sustainability and Transformation Plan following Monday's Cabinet discussion LINK:
Cabinet noted the STP submission for North West London.

1.    Cabinet welcomed the principles adopted within the STP of prevention, out of hospital care, dealing with the social care funding gap and the need to work across the public sector to maximise benefits from changes to the NHS and other public sector estate.

2    Cabinet noted that the STP will need formal sign off by the end of December and that between October and December the following issues need to be clarified both within the submission and through other NHS processes, in order for the council to give full support for the plan:

a.    That the IMBC (Implementation Business Case) on which delivery area 5 is based is released, debated and understood;
b.    That the flow of monies from acute to out of hospital settings are clarified;
c.    That the specification for out of hospital settings, in particular social care, are clarified based on an agreed model of out of hospital care;
d.    That a full risk assessment for the plan and relevant mitigations are included.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Tom Miller to succeed Michael Pavey as lead for Stronger Communities

I understand that Cllr Tom Miller is to succeed Michael Pavey as Lead Member for Stronger Communities.

The post covers two major controversial issues among others - Libraries, including Council relationships with volunteer libraries and the Prevent Strategy.

Pavey resigned over policy differences with Brent Council leader Muhammed Butt  over how the Council should deal with government cuts.

Miller is a councillor for Willesden Green and this is his first Cabinet post. I understand that his appointment was acceptable to both factions within the Labour Group on Brent Council and avoided a push for a potentially acrimonious election.

He himself is no stranger to controversy becoming a target of right-wing commentators LINK but he has carved out for himself a role as a 'thinker' of the Left as illustrated by this article which may or may not give us a clue to his approach to his new role in terms of ethics LINK

Miller, who in 2014 defeated Graham Durham for the Brent Central CLP Trade Union Liaison post attended the Grunwick Exhibition opening. He was a supporter of the campaign to save the Queensbury pub in Willesden Green from development. He is a former member of the Brent Scrutiny Committee.

Miller blogs, not very frequently, HERE.

Twitter: @TomMillerUK 

Sparks fly over transfer of Roundwood Park firework display to Wembley

The ending of the annual Fireworks Display at Roundwood Park in Willesden/Harlesden has been met with anger by some residents in the south of the borough who see it as yet another example of 'Wembleyfication' - the dominance of Wembley as the regeneration and adminstrative heart of the borough, sucking resources from elsewhere in the borough. 

Certainly a move from a spacious park to the limited paved area of Arena Square (see diagram) has its drawback but in a statement Brent Council claim that sponsorship by Quintain, the US  owned developer of the area around the stadium and Wembley Park Ltd, is the only thing that has saved a borough firework display:
Due to ongoing cuts to local budgets by the government, we're working hard to keep delivering for our residents. This has been particularly felt in the budget for holding local events like our annual fireworks display in Roundwood Park.

We know that the fireworks display is an extremely popular event with residents as well as visitors from across North West London.

That’s why – working closely with Quintain and Wembley Park – we have been able to ensure that the fireworks display will go ahead at a new venue in Wembley.

The sponsorship of the event means that we can continue to host this fantastic annual event in Brent completely FREE to residents. Excellent transport links mean that residents from across Brent will be able to take part this year – we hope you can join us!
There will be performances around the square and at the Civic Centre from early afternoon and the fireworks themselves will be lit at  approximately 6.30pm on November 6th.

Awards Panel blasts private student accommodation providers

Unite student accommodation, Olympic Way LINK

As another student accommodation block opens on Olympic Way. Wembley, readers may be interested  in the decision of a panel deciding on an Award for Student Accommodation, sponsored by Property Week.

There were due to be more than 2,500 student units around Wembley Stadium whenI last checked.

The Panel refused to nominate a winner and wrote the following to the organisers:

Scrutiny over-ruled on Housing Management decision

In an unusual move Brent Council officers have ruled that a decision must be made by Cabinet on the controversial proposals for the future of Brent Housing Management LINK despite the proposals not being included in the Council's Forward Plan and the subsequent recommendations of Scrutiny Committee.

This is a copy of the Notice to the Chair of Scrutiny (Community and Wellbeing):

Monday, 24 October 2016

"If the community sees [PREVENT] as a problem, then you have a problem”

Image for earlier report by Rights Watch LINK

Earlier this month Brent Council organised a public discussion on Extremism at which the majority of the audience appeared to be opposed to the Prevent Strategy - not because they were in favour of 'Extremism' but because they saw the strategy as sterotyping the Muslim community and being implemented in a top-down way which excluded community organisations. Additionally it threatened free speech in schools and colleges and had a corrosive effect on good community relations.  Overall it was likely to be counter-productive.

Now Open Society has taken up many of these issues in a report entitled Eroding Trust: The UK's PREVENT Counter Extremism Strategy in Health and Education LINK

Concerned organisations in Brent has set up a Monitoring Group on Prevent on Facebook which can be found HERE.

As a contribution to the Brent debate I publish below the Executive Summary of the Open Society Report:
“I’ve never felt not British. And this [Prevent experience] made me feel very, very, like they tried to make me feel like an outsider. We live here. I am born and bred here, not from anywhere else”.
“It could have gone the opposite way if I wasn’t thinking straight, if I were the type who was being brainwashed. The way they went about it, [Prevent] could have made me do exactly what they told me not to do. I associate with Prevent negatively, it is not helpful at all”
 Executive Summary and Recommendations

The UK’s Prevent strategy, which purports to prevent terrorism, creates a serious risk of human rights violations. The programme is flawed in both its design and application, rendering it not only unjust but also counterproductive. 
Launched in 2003, the Prevent strategy has evolved against the background of increased public fears over the threat of “home grown” terrorism. The strategy in its cur- rent form aims “to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism”. In 2015, legislation created a statutory Prevent duty on schools, universities, and NHS trusts, among other public sector entities, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This requires doctors, psychologists, and teachers, among other health and education professionals, to identify individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism (including violent and non-violent “extremism”) for referral to the police-led multi-agency “Channel” programme (for England and Wales) or “Prevent Professional Concerns” (for Scotland), both of which purport to “support” such individuals. 
This report analyses the human rights impact of Prevent in its current form in the education and health sectors. It focuses on these sectors because they are critically dependent on trust and have particular care-giving functions that have not traditionally been directed towards preventing terrorism. Under Prevent, doctors and teachers who have a professional duty to care for their charges are now required to assess and report them for being at risk of “extremism”, which is defined as “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs”. Because the conscription of these sectors into preventing terrorism is part of a growing trend, the report’s principal findings, listed below, not only apply to the United Kingdom, but are relevant and instructive for other governments grappling with these challenges. 
First, the current Prevent strategy suffers from multiple, mutually reinforcing structural flaws, the foreseeable consequence of which is a serious risk of human rights violations. These violations include, most obviously, violations of the right against discrimination, as well the right to freedom of expression, among other rights. Prevent’s structural flaws include the targeting of “pre-criminality”, “non- violent extremism”, and opposition to “British values”. This “intensifies” the government’s reach into “everyday lawful discourse”. Furthermore, Prevent’s targeting of non-violent extremism and “indicators” of risk of being drawn into terrorism lack a scientific basis. Indeed, the claim that non-violent extremism – including “radical” or religious ideology – is the precursor to terrorism has been widely discredited by the British government itself, as well as numerous reputable scholars. Prevent training, much of it based on unreliable indicators, appears to be largely unregulated. Moreover, the statutory duty creates an incentive to over- refer. This incentive is reinforced by the adverse consequences associated with non-compliance with the Prevent duty and the lack of adverse consequences for making erroneous referrals. The case studies and interviews in this report confirm the tendency to over-refer individuals under Prevent. The fundamental nature of these defects makes them unlikely to be cured by a mere renaming of Prevent to “Engage”.

Second, Prevent’s overly broad and vague definition of “non-violent extremism” creates the potential for systemic human rights abuses. On the basis of this definition, schools, universities, and NHS trusts, among other “specified authorities” subject to the Prevent duty, are required to assess the risk of children, students, and patients being drawn into terrorism and report them to the police-led Channel programme where necessary. By the government’s own admission, thou- sands of people have been erroneously referred to the Channel programme. Individuals (including children) erroneously referred under Prevent experience the referral as inherently stigmatising and intensely intimidating. They also fear continued surveillance and the creation and retention of Prevent records, which may taint them and lead others to view them as “extremists” in the future. 
Specifically, the targeting of non-violent extremism raises serious concerns about possible violations of the right to freedom of expression. Children in schools have been targeted under Prevent for expressing political views. University conferences relating to Islamophobia and Islam in Europe have been cancelled, raising questions of possible breaches under the Education Act (1986) and article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. More generally, the case studies and interviews in this report suggest that Prevent has created a significant chilling effect on freedom of expression in schools and universities, and undermined trust between teachers and students. This risks driving underground, removed from debate and challenge, conversations about controversial issues such as terrorism. In addition, as indicated by the large number of interviewees for this report who requested anonymity, there is a genuine and intensely held fear among some that public criticism of Prevent will trigger retaliation. This fear is particularly acute for parents who fear that their children will bear the brunt of the retaliation. 
Third, the Prevent duty creates a risk of discrimination, particularly against Muslims. Frontline professionals have broad discretion to act on their conscious or unconscious biases in deciding whom to report under Prevent. Current and former police leads for Prevent recognise that currently, Prevent operates in a cli- mate marked by Islamophobia. Significantly, between July 2015 and July 2016, Islamophobic crime in London rose by 94 percent. This climate creates the risk that Muslims in particular may be erroneously targeted under Prevent. All of the case studies relating to the targeting of individuals under Prevent raise serious questions about whether they would have been targeted in this manner had they not been Muslim. Relatedly, in some case studies, Muslims appear to have been targeted under Prevent for displaying signs of increased religiosity, raising questions about the violation of their right to manifest their religion.
Fourth, by requiring the identification and reporting of individuals at risk of violent and non-violent extremism, Prevent creates a risk of violations of the right to privacy. Many of the case studies describe individuals being intrusively questioned under intimidating conditions about their religious and/or political beliefs. One case study raises troubling questions about the collection (apparently without informed consent) of names and political opinions from Muslim children for the Home Office.

Fifth, there are serious concerns about the treatment of children under Prevent. Although the government describes Prevent as a form of “safeguarding” (a statutory term which denotes promotion of welfare and protection from harm), the two sets of obligations have materially different aims, particularly with respect to children. In contrast to the Prevent strategy, for which the primary objective is preventing terrorism, the primary objective of the duty to safeguard children under domestic legislation is the welfare of the child. This reflects the obligation under article 3(1) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to make the best interests of the child a primary consideration in all actions relating to children. Accordingly, while compliance with safeguarding obligations would only permit referral to Channel while prioritising the best interests of the child, the Channel duty guidance does not specify that as a mandatory or even a relevant consideration. All of the case studies in this report relating to children – including one in which a four year-old child was targeted– appear to be instances in which the best interests of the child were not a primary consideration. 
Sixth, the Prevent duty risks breaching health bodies’ duty of confidentiality towards their patients and undermining the relationship between health professionals and their patients. The standard for disclosure of confidential information under Prevent appears to be much lower than that warranted by the common law duty of confidentiality enshrined in the NHS confidentiality code of practice and the General Medical Council’s confidentiality guidance. Specifically, requiring a medical professional to report to the police-led Channel programme an individual who is at “risk of being drawn into terrorism”, including “non-violent extremism”, appears to be a much lower standard than requiring the medical professional to report (under the GMC guidance) the individual only when failure to disclose confidential information would expose others to a risk of death or serious harm. This could generate breaches of the confidentiality duty along with violations of the right to private life under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Finally, there are serious indications that Prevent is counterproductive. The case studies show that being wrongly targeted under Prevent has led some Muslims to question their place in British society. Other adults wrongfully targeted under Prevent have said that, had they been different, their experience of Prevent could have drawn them towards terrorism, and not away from it. Government data reveal that 80% of all Channel referrals were set aside, implying that there were thousands of individuals wrongly referred to Channel. This in turn risks under- mining the willingness of targeted communities to supply intelligence to law enforcement officials which could be used to prevent terrorist acts.
As Sir David Omand, the architect of the original version of Prevent, has observed: “The key issue is, do most people in the community accept [Prevent] as protective of their rights? If the community sees it as a problem, then you have a problem”. This report demonstrates that the UK’s Prevent strategy is indeed a serious problem. 

To the UK Government:

1.     Repeal the Prevent duty with respect to the health and education sectors. 

2.     End the targeting and reporting of “non-violent extremism” under the Prevent strategy. 

3.     End the use of empirically unsupported indicators of vulnerability to being drawn into terrorism. 

4.     Establish an independent public inquiry – with civil society participation – into the Prevent strategy and associated rights violations. 

5.     Create a formal and independent complaints mechanism through which individu- als whose rights have been violated by the Prevent strategy can seek and obtain prompt and meaningful remedies. 

6.     Publicly commit to a policy of zero tolerance regarding retaliation against indi- viduals who allege rights violations under Prevent. 

7.     Publicly disclose data on total number of individuals referred to and processed through Prevent, Channel, and Prevent Professional Concerns (PPC), as well a the breakdown of these figures by age, type of extremism, and referring authority. 

8.     Publicly disclose, to the extent it exists, evidence underpinning and data relating to the UK’s Extremism Risk Guidance (ERG) 22+. 

To the Children’s Commissioners for England, Wales, and Scotland:

Conduct an assessment of the impact of Prevent on children, including but not limited to whether the best interests of the child are a primary consideration in Prevent-related actions. 
To the National Association of Head Teachers, the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, the National Union of Teachers, and other teachers associations: 
Conduct an assessment of the impact of Prevent on teachers and children, including but not limited to the extent to which the best interests of the child are a primary consideration in Prevent-related actions.

To Universities UK:

Conduct an assessment of the impact of Prevent in universities, including but not limited to its impact on academic freedom and freedom of speech. 
To the General Medical Council: 
Review and clarify professional standards relating to the duty of confidentiality as interpreted and applied in Prevent settings. 
To the British Medical Association, the British Psychological Society,
the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and other professional bodies in the health sector: 
Conduct an assessment of the impact of Prevent on the practice of doctors, psychologists and other healthcare professionals, and on patients and patient care, including but not limited to an assessment of how the duty of confidentiality is being interpreted and applied in Prevent settings.