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Sunday, 21 September 2014

Dysfunction at Brent Council

Returning from the Indyref campaign, I find Brent Council's dysfunctional human resources department appears to be on public display, according to a number of posts by Martin Francis, of which this is the latest. 

The Council has unsuccessfully defended itself against a claim of constructive dismissal by one of its employees.  This has opened up a series of accusations and claims.  I do not know whether all those that have been placed in the public domain are true, although the suspicion that there is something seriously wrong with the way Brent Council is run is unavoidable.  Aside from the sheer number of such claims floating around, the fact that Brent Council has had an "interim" Chief Executive for almost two years, and is likely to have one for longer than that is an obvious danger signal.  During that period other authorities such as Barnet have successfully recruited to the Chief Executive post, so either Brent has acquired a reputation that no one wants to work there, or it suits someone not to recruit.

These difficulties all ultimately stem from the removal of the former Chief Executive in late 2012.  When I asked the Council Leader for an explanation of why the Chief Executive was being removed, at significant cost to the taxpayer, I was simply refused.  To the best of my knowledge no explanation has been given to anyone subsequently.

This kind of secrecy does not enhance the reputation of any organisation.


I raised human resources issues a number of times both as a councillor and as a Lead member.  There is a clear resistence to tackling theproblems with Brent's human resources, or even to acknoweldge their existence.  In my view these problems are getting worse as a result, and I strongly suspect that there are various abuses of power going on.


Another comment asks for references in minutes to concerns over Human Resources in Brent Council.  Of course, where I have raised these concerns in correspondence, or conversations, or in closed meeting there may not be such minutes.  However if you look through this blog you will find a number of reference to my concerns over  the rising numbers of interim staff, the dangers of victimisation and the unfairness of criticising named individuals who cannot answer back


  1. Not just "constructive dismissal" but racist bullying and victimisation. Why are you downplaying this?

  2. This was racist victimisation of a black employee and it happened while you were a member of Brent's ruling Executive

  3. Pleased to hear you raised the issue - could you point us to the minutes?