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Saturday 4 October 2014

Abuses at Brent Council

I notice that in a debate on Martin Francis blog some of the commentators appear to be confusing his position and mine.  My original post is here, and Martin has paraphrased it accurately, whilst adding his own view.  Hence the understandable confusion.

My view is that Brent Council had strong rules and procedures before 2012, including appropriate relationships between members and officers.  These were built up over many years since the nadir of the Tory administration in the 1990s, as explained here.  Since 2012, there has been a steady decline in the application of appropriate standards, leading to a situation where accusations of various forms of abuse, including racism and misuse of public money, are flying about.  This is, in my view, the result of the past couple of years where patronage and irrational decision making have increased, scrutiny has declined, and certain individuals appear to have been allowed to believe that they enjoy impunity from accountability.

My view is that it is up to elected councillors to step in and sort this out, whether the abuses are being committed by overmighty officers or whether they are being committed by elected members who are out of control (or indeed whether they are being influenced by people who fit in neither category). Given the composition of Brent Council, that primarily means the Labour Group.

The debate on Martin's blog can be found here

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