Friday, 20 March 2015

Finally, Christine Gilbert's top 'interim' job is advertised for permanent appointment


The role of Chief Executive of Brent, currently held in an interim capacity by Christine Gilbert, has at last been advertised nearly a year after Gilber's appointment extension date of 'after'  May 2014, which was proposed in June 2013. LINK

It was argued initially that Gilbert needed to stay to see the Council through a period of transition and to ensure stability, the efficient running of the local elections and the maintenance of the Council's good name and then later that she needed to stay to complete work on the Brent Plan.

In Septembr 2014 I was prevented from asking a question about the delayed appointment. LINK

Looking at the Candidate Information Pack LINK it appears that Council Leader Muhammed Butt believes the appointed candidate will be his personal CEO rather than the borough's.

This is what he says in the pack introduction:
Thank you for your interest in the chief executive role at Brent Council. 

I thought the best way of explaining what we are looking for in our next Chief Executive is by telling you a bit about myself. I am a Brent boy. I was born in Wembley, went to school in the borough and studied at Kilburn Polytechnic. I live with my wife and children in the ward I represent, Tokyngton. My children go to school in the borough. I have owned businesses in the borough, and worked my way up from an engineer to a Project Manager at BT. I care about the residents of Brent because I am one, and I’m proud to live and work here. 

Most people I meet around the borough tell me they enjoy living and working here too. They choose Brent as their home because it is a lively, vibrant place, richly diverse and full of opportunities. That is as true for people whose families have been here for many generations as it is for the residents we welcome from across London, the UK and the world every day. 

The talent and energy of our people, our facilities, our dynamic local enterprise, our connectivity and our location all make Brent a place of enormous potential within the powerhouse city that is London. We need to make the very best use of these assets if we are to fulfil that potential in ways that make sure everyone who lives and work here – including the most vulnerable – can improve the quality of their lives. This is a particular challenge when public services are facing dramatic cuts in funding from central government. 

I work in politics because I want to make Brent a better place and absolutely believe it is possible, even in the face of these financial challenges. I have a passionate desire to see three things for Brent: fairness; wealth and prosperity; and a strong sense of community. The inequality and injustice I see as I travel across our borough makes me angry. I want all residents to have the opportunities and the tools they need to access work that pays a fair wage. I want to attract more jobs to Brent, guarantee our children leave school with the skills they need to access work and ensure people who are unemployed have the support they need to find work again. I believe in a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work – work must pay enough for a sustainable and comfortable life. I believe that the bonds that tie us together as a community are our greatest asset, and I want to nurture and strengthen them and foster citizenship and goodwill. 

I believe we all – the Council, its partner services, residents, businesses and local charities – have a responsibility to make this happen. Working together, we can make Brent an even better place to live and work. 

If you share my passion and commitment to improving the quality of life for all Brent residents, then we want to hear from you. 

Councillor Muhammed Butt Leader of Brent Council
Even more intriguing is Part 4 of the pack:


Part Four – Chemistry and ‘fit’ between the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council



What is the Leader like to work with?



·       Generally pretty relaxed

·       Non-bureaucratic; informal and engaging

·       Prefers informal conversations to emails; likes personal, face to face interaction

·       Likes people who just get on and deliver, and do what they say

·       Has an open-door policy; comfortable relating to staff, partners, business and the community

·       Comfortable with being checked and challenged re what he can do or what is possible

·       Trusts his gut instinct

·       A fulltime Leader of the Council – but not intrusive or interfering



What works less well with the Leader



·       Not being challenged

·       Being told ‘no’ – without a reasonable explanation

·       A Chief Executive that clearly has their own agenda



What style and way of operating will be essential in the new Chief Executive for this relationship to work?



·       Visibly creates a forward momentum for the organisation

·       Energy, enthusiasm and vitality

·       Delivery-focused, for self and for the entire organization

·       Does not need to be chased

·       Not afraid to hold the Leader in ‘check’ – but must have sound reasons for doing so, and, from time to time, be prepared for some constructive challenge back

·       An ego that is sufficiently secure not to have to ‘compete’ with the Leader – rather, sees both of them as working in real partnership for the benefit of Brent

·       ‘Politically (big ‘P’ and small ‘p’) astute and savvy – without being political

·       Lives the ‘open for business’ mantra

·       A natural partnership builder

·       Personally models the desired overall behaviours for the Council of being open, accessible, and transparent

·       Is visible; does not hide in his/her office – but gets out there within the organisation and amongst our communities

·       Easily gains and maintains the respect of members, partners and stakeholders

·       Recognises that being CX of such a large and complex organisation can never be a 9-5 job

·       Ready to ‘let things go’, in the sense that the Council cannot do everything, and many traditional activities may now be better delivered by or through others 

·       Absolutely ‘must’ be sensitive to diversity issues and understand how that impacts (on a day to day basis) on what the Council does, how it is viewed by citizens, and how it operates
So much emphasis on the 'leader' and his qualities suggests an expectation that Muhammed Butt will be around for a while yet...

No information is given on the salary exception to describe it as 'Competitive'   Our old friend Bloomsbury Resourcing are involved as advisors. There is no information on the appointment process itself and how the recruitment panel will be constituted*. Clearly an important consideration for the Labour Group as they approach the AGM in May.

* Since first publication I have heard that Cllr Suresh Kansagra, leader of the 'official' Conservative opposition will be on the appointment panel.

 
Closing date:                                                            10 April

Longlisting:                                                              by 17 April                              

Preliminary interviews + assessments:                 W/C 27 April

Shortlisting:                                                              13 May                        

Final panel:                                                                18/19 May



Confidential Discussion

If you would like to have an informal/confidential discussion about this role, please contact our advisors: Hamish Davidson LINK on: 07932 698807, Shahidul Miah on 07581 230171 or Leon Ward on: 07871 044649, or email them at:




The office landline is: 020 7183 0363

129 comments:

  1. Tony McNulty will suit Cllr Butt as his CEO.

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  2. Astonishing level of ego. Butt's confidence that he will be around a long time may yet come back to bite him

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  3. So that's Bernard Collier's company. The whole ad reads as though they have someone already in mind.

    Did Davani write the description of the G-G-G-Glowious Leader? Not one that's close to the truth. This is a disturbingly worded ad for a post that's supposed to be politically independant.

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  4. Its all about Butt isn't it? My favourite bit is..Absolutely ‘must’ be sensitive to diversity issues and understand how that impacts (on a day to day basis) on what the Council does, how it is viewed by citizens, and how it operates. ...are they having a laugh?

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  5. Shameless, eh?

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  6. "Prefers informal conversations to emails; likes personal, face to face interaction" - as this is not subject to freedom of information requests.

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    1. This comment is spot on!

      Martin refers in his blog to his request to speak as a Deputation, about the appointment of a permanent Chief Executive, at the Full Council meeting on 8 September 2014. Martin had made his request in response to an invitation, "tweeted" to over 8,000 people by Brent Council, but was told by Fiona Ledden (Brent's then Legal Director) that his request could not be accepted, as the deadline shown by the invitation was "in error".

      I wrote to the Mayor of Brent (Cllr. Kana Naheerathan) on 5 September (three days before the Full Council meeting), setting out the circumstances under which Martin's request had been made (within the terms of an invitation issued by Brent Council), and refused. I pointed out to him that it would be within his powers as Chair of that meeting to allow Martin to present his Deputation, and that in the circumstances this would be the fairest way of dealing with the matter. My email was copied to both Ms Ledden and Cllr. Butt, for information.

      The Mayor replied to me on 8 September:
      ‘I am aware that you have also been in contact with Fiona Ledden, Brent’s Director of Legal and Procurement, on the same issue. It would be inappropriate for me to comment further.’

      The Mayor had clearly not been properly briefed on his position under the Constitution in this matter, and at the meeting itself, when item 6 (Deputations) came up on the agenda, he merely said: 'There are no deputations'. Cllr. Warren challenged this, saying that he was aware of a request for a Deputation by a Mr Francis, and Ms Ledden cut in to answer on the Mayor's behalf that the matter had been dealt with by correspondence.

      Having set out the facts, I will now get to the point about Freedom of Information Act requests. What had gone on between the Mayor, Cllr. Butt, Ms Ledden (and possibly Christine Gilbert) to turn what was a reasonable request to allow a Deputation to be heard (especially as the agenda allowed 20 minutes for such items, and there were no other requests) into a denial that there were any such Deputations (even though Martin was at the meeting ready to make one!)?

      I submitted an FoI request (one of three linked requests on various Deputations points) to Brent Council on 15 September 2014) for copies of any documents or communications (whether written or electronic) between any of Ms Ledden, officers in Brent's Democratic Services department, the Mayor, Cllr. Butt or the Chief Executive, in respect of how the request by Martin Francis to speak as a Deputation at the Full Council meeting on 8 September should be dealt with. I hoped that this would show who had advised or instructed the Mayor to tell the meeting: 'There are no Deputations'.

      After reminders, I finally received an acknowledgement of my FoI request from Ms Ledden on 30 September, then the formal response to it from her, several weeks after the statutory deadline, on 4 November. That response did not supply the information, of even state whether it existed or not (in clear breach of the Freedom of Information Act). I immediately requested an internal review, and received the response to this from Ben Spinks (Brent's then Assistant Chief Executive) on 4 December 2014, his key statement being:
      'Regarding your request concerning documents, whether written or electronic, produced and/or sent between 1 September 2014 and 8 September 2014, I can confirm that no written documents exist in relation to parts A, B, or C of your query.'

      So, yes, that is the way that the top levels at the Civic Centre prefer to work. Either don't put anything in writing, or if you exchange electronic communications, make sure they are deleted as soon as anyone asks to see copies of them, so that you can avoid being held to account for your actions.

      Philip Grant.

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  7. "Recognises that being CX of such a large and complex organisation can never be a 9-5 job" is not sensitive to diversity at all especially if they wish to recruit mothers.

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  8. Edited comment: What an egotistical little man? Butt seem to think everything is about him. He's in politics because he cares! What a joke. He cares so much so that Davani is still in her post after been found guilty, he cares so much so that they awarded themselves a 25% pay rise.

    I wouldn't be surprised if X has been earmarked for the job, after all she's only on a 1 year contract at the moment, and if not her, another 1 of their Tower Hamlet/Ofsted cronies.

    Prefers informal conversations to emails; likes personal, face to face interaction - is speak for we don't want to put anything in writing so there is no proof it was said.

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  9. If I didn't know better I would consider this a spoof. I don't feel comfortable with Bloomsbury Resourcing handling this considering Bernard Collier, a Councillor is an ex Director of Bloomsbury and still reported that he held that position during the local election campaigns last year.

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    1. It does seem a conflict of interest and potential for challenge if the said Councillor is still somehow involved with Bloomsbury !

      Delete
    2. This correspondence has been unearthed which may answer the query:

      Subject: Re: Urgent electoral query

      Thank you Christine, much appreciated.

      Alison Hopkins
      Liberal Democrat Councillor for Dollis Hill



      On 18 May 2014, at 18:54, "Gilbert, Christine" wrote:

      Alison

      Shahidul told me Mr Collier has it on his LinkedIn profile too.

      I'll find out from Cara Davani and either she or I will get back to you . I know Bloomsbury Resourcing have done several things for us.

      Christine

      Christine



      On 18 May 2014, at 17:45, "Hopkins, Councillor Alison" wrote:

      Thanks Christine. The query arose because Mr Collier has his employment with Bloomsbury on his Twitter profile, and that got spotted by one of my locals. Given that bloomsburys only vacancies were with us, that obviously caused concern!

      Do you know how long we've used Bloomsbury, please? It isn't a company name that came up in discussions on the topic of recruitment at budget and finance scrutiny or general purposes.

      Many thanks
      Alison

      Alison Hopkins


      Liberal Democrat Councillor for Dollis Hill

      On 18 May 2014, at 16:10, "Gilbert, Christine" wrote:

      Dear Alison

      This rumour ran on twitter last week and Shahidul Miah, who runs Bloomsbury Resourcing, alerted me to it.

      I can reassure you that Bernard Collier has done absolutely no work for Bloomsbury Resourcing with Brent Council and will not do so in the future, whether he wins a seat as a councillor or not. Bloomsbury Resourcing has a number of contracts all over the country and apparently, Mr Collier did some work on a very specialised area for Shahidul for one of these. This had no connection with Brent or the Council.

      I look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

      Best wishes
      Christine


      On 18 May 2014, at 10:47, "Hopkins, Councillor Alison" wrote:

      Hello Fiona

      I've an urgent question please. A resident had brought to my attention that a Willesden candidate, Bernard Collier is director of Bloomsbury Resourcing who are recruitment agents. The concern is that the company's only vacancies are for two high level jobs at Brent Council!

      Can you please advise whether this breaches electoral protocols? Also, given the furore around our HR practices, is it advisable that these vacancies are being advertised and fees paid to a party candidate? Was any of this declared or made public? I am very concerned that this is an unacceptable electoral situation and that it will also bring the council into disrepute.

      I would appreciate your response as soon as possible.

      Many thanks

      Alison
      Alison HopkinsLiberal Democrat Councillor for Dollis Hill

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    3. "Spotted by one of my locals"? Jesus Christ

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    4. Thank you, Martin (and Alison), for the copies of email correspondence showing the close relationship of Christine Gilbert (and Cara Davani) with Shahidul Miah.

      I have copied this into a document which I have sent to Brent's Audit and Investigations Team, as I had already raised concerns with them about the possibility for conflicts of interest, and the potential for possible financial irregularities, over Brent HR contracts awarded to Bloomsbury Resourcing Ltd.

      If any "Wembley Matters" readers have evidence of any such irregularities, I would ask them to send details, in confidence, to: simon.lane@brent.gov.uk . Thank you.

      Philip Grant.

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    5. If Bernard only did a 'specialist' piece of work why did he call himself director?

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    6. You're very welcome, Phillip. I can't find any record of ever having had an email that stated precisely what work Bloomsbury had ever done for Brent, despite Christine's promise to privide that.

      We - cross party - pushed hard at Scrutiny for both details of contractors and the like and also for the criteria used to select them. I asked several times for the details of the work package specifications and for the selection criteria. I don't believe we ever got them.

      I do wonder why on earth Brent use a one man band operating out of a flat in Bloomsbury with a very small turnover and NO track record of such high level recruitment. The Davidson website makes interesting reading: apparently, they recruited the CE of Tower Hamlets, when it was an authority in trouble. (sic)

      Delete
  10. I am glad that Christine Gilbert's time as Brent's interim Chief Executive is coming to an end. After all, Cllr. Butt told Brent's staff and people in September 2012, when he got rid of Gareth Daniel (the long serving Chief Executive who had managed to work effectively with a number of other Council Leaders, from different parties):
    ‘The Council will now begin the process of recruiting a new Chief Executive which is likely to take several months. We are aiming to appoint an external interim Chief Executive in the next few weeks who would remain in place until a permanent replacement is found.'
    It has been a very long 'several months'!

    The decision on who should be Brent's "Head of Paid Service" is ultimately meant to be one for the Full Council to make, but the only say they have been given on Christine Gilbert in that role was in June 2013, when they agreed that advertising the post for a permanent Chief Executive should be delayed until after the local elections in May 2014.

    Christine Gilbert was to be given a fixed term contract until then. The post should have been advertised no later than June 2014, and the person responsible for carrying out the Full Council's decision, and seeing that the post was advertised, was Christine Gilbert herself! (The details on how Appointments to Senior Management Posts should be carried out, and who is responsible for doing so, are set out at Standing Order 77, in Part 3 of Brent's Constitution, which includes:
    '(g) The Chief Executive or another Chief Officer authorised by him or her shall arrange for the post to be advertised in such a way as is likely to bring it to the attention of persons who meet the person specification criteria to apply, and shall arrange for a copy of the job description and person specification to be sent to any person on request.')

    Cllr. Muhammed Butt did refer to Christine Gilbert's role as interim Chief Executive in his report to the Full Council meeting on 8 September 2014. This is what he said (copied from the minutes of the meeting on the Council's website):
    'The Leader referred to the decision taken in June 2013 regarding the appointment of a new Chief Executive. He stated that the external auditors were reporting back on how the Council was operating and whilst there was progress being made, stability within the Council would enable further progress to be made. The current arrangements would therefore remain in place until a recruitment process began in the new year which would tie in with the launch of the new Borough Plan.'

    Cllr. Butt had no authority to extend Christine Gilbert's interim arrangements as Chief Executive without the formal approval of Full Council, which he did not seek. The fact that he was exceeding his authority should have been pointed out to him, and not allowed to take place, by either or both of the interim Chief Executive, Christine Gilbert, or Legal Director, Fiona Ledden (who was restructured out of her job at Brent Council at the end of 2014), both of whom were present at the meeting.

    Given Christine Gilbert's apparent failure to follow the terms of her contract as interim Chief Executive, I hope that she will not be considered for the position of Brent's permanent Chief Executive, if she were to apply for it.

    Philip Grant.

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  11. "Open for Business" sounds like just the kind of private profit and public spending cuts orientation that a tax exile who evicts people from public land would love to associate with. Guy Hands linked to Sweets Way estate evictions.

    Who wants to be a rubber stamp? I don't. Manipulable rubber stamp for CEO..

    Dude Swheatie of Kwug

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    1. The article on the Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group site includes the "advert" shown at the top of Martin's blog above, but incorrectly says that this is from the Brent Council website.

      In fact, the post of permanent Chief Executive is not currently mentioned as being available in the "Jobs and Careers" section of the Council's website, and there has not been any press release from the Council's Communications Team to announce that Brent is finally advertising for a permanent Chief Executive. It is as if the Council (or at least its Director of HR and/or Chief Operating Officer) does not want people in Brent to know that this job is available.

      Instead, you can only get details of the vacancy, and how to apply, from the website:
      www.brentchiefexecutive.co.uk
      which can be accessed from the websites of the two firms of recruitment consultants involved in the recruitment process, Bloomsbury Resourcing Ltd and Davidson & Partners.

      Philip Grant.

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  12. Where to begin... The ad and person specs so wrong on every count.

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  13. "Open for business", but the Brent Labour Group are closed for the vulnerable as their services are axed.

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    1. Do not know if I should laugh or cry !

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  14. If recruitment process is not transparent then the next Eric Pickles can come into the Borough and review as we need public accountability.

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  15. 'Bloomsbury Resourcing' - what a peculiar outfit. As per Alison Hopkins (Martin Francis, 18.19 above), it seems that in May 2014 the only jobs advertised were two 'high-level' ones for Brent Council. Almost 12 months down the line, Brent Council appears to be the firm's only customer for 'Shahidul' Miah - Bloomsbury's managing director with whom Ms Gilbert (also 18.19 above) is clearly on first-name dropping terms

    http://bloomsburyresourcing.co.uk/current-roles/

    Along with the solitary spec for a full-time Brent CE to replace the oxymoronic two-year 'interim' post (how long IS a piece of string?), Mr Miah is the only named employee of the firm, despite its (alleged) 10-year history. Interestingly, no land-line number is listed, only a mobile. Weirder and weirder... Interesting to note in passing that Bloomsbury has Ofsted connections.


    http://bloomsburyresourcing.co.uk/

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    1. This reeks. Seems Ofsted is - once again - the link between Christine Gilbert and Bloomsbury Resourcing. Does Mo Butt have even a smidgeon of sense about how bad a light all this casts on the borough he leads and claims to love?

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    2. I love Google. Searching on Shahidul Hocque Miah brings forth much of interest. Sorry for the long links.

      http://companycheck.co.uk/director/906948804 …
      https://www.companiesintheuk.co.uk/director/5332739/shahidul-miah … http://www.datalog.co.uk/docs/Prod223_1245_07256483_20140430.pdf … http://www.datalog.co.uk/browse/detail.php/CompanyNumber/07256483/CompanyName/BLOOMSBURY+RESOURCING+LTD …
      datalog.co.uk/browse/detail.php/CompanyNumber/06571117/CompanyName/MIAH+%26+COMPANY+%28G.B.%29+LTD …
      ttp://companycheck.co.uk/director/908395140 …

      Delete
  16. 'This rumour ran...' (Martin Francis, 18.19 above) - that's how Gilbert responded to a legitimate concern from Alison Hopkins about Bernard Collier calling himself a director of Bloomsbury Publishing. It's to be hoped this isn't a 'phantom' ad, with the interim CE already being a shoe-in for the full-time post.

    As for Cllr Collier, seems he has a new consulting job as - wait for it - 'Interim CEO/Director' of Beyond Profit Consulting - which is described as an outfit 'set up by leaders for leaders'. This is stomach-churning stuff, even without knowing of what Bernard Collier is/has been a 'leader'? I hope that isn't how he sees his relationship to residents of his Willesden Green constituency?

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    1. Sorry all - 'Bloomsbury Publishing' above should, of course, have been Bloomsbury Consulting.

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    2. Sorry - Bloomsbury Publishing should, of course, have read Bloomsbury Resourcing.

      Delete
  17. Further to Martin's reference near the end of his article above about not knowing who will be on the recruitment panel for the new permanent Chief Executive, these are the details shown on the Brent Council website for the Senior Staff Appointments Sub-Committee:

    Committee details - Senior Staff Appointments Sub-Committee:-

    Membership:
    Councillor Muhammed Butt (Chair)
    Councillor Krupesh Hirani
    Councillor Roxanne Mashari
    Councillor Michael Pavey
    Councillor Suresh Kansagra

    Support officer: Cara Davani - Operational Director, HR.

    Under Brent's Constitution (Part 5 - Terms of Reference for Council Committees), the Senior Staff Appointments Sub-Committee 'comprises 5 councillors, at least one of whom shall be a
    member of the Cabinet.' The fact that Cllr. Butt is chair, and only one of the members of the five-person committee is not a member of the Labour Cabinet, shows how much power is centralised at Brent Council.

    It is a similar position with the General Purposes Committee, which among its roles will agree the remuneration package of the Chief Executive. Under Brent's Constitution, this committee 'comprises 8 councillors'. The purpose of this committee is described as follows:
    'The committee carries out a number of functions on which the Cabinet cannot take decisions, including public rights of way, setting the Council Tax base and approving the Council’s statement of accounts, staffing matters and health and safety functions.'
    Out of the 63 elected councillors who could fill these places, seven of the eight are currently taken by members of the Cabinet, with Cllr. Butt as chair, and Cllr. Kansagra as the only non-Cabinet member. You can check these details on the "Democracy in Brent" pages of the Council's website!

    So, it appears that Cllr. Butt will chair the Final Panel meeting which chooses who he wants as Brent's next Chief Executive on 18 or 19 May, then put his choice before the Annual Meeting of Full Council on 20 May for rubber-stamping, before there is any real chance for other councillors to consider whether they agree that "the chosen one" is the best candidate for the post.

    Philip Grant.


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    1. P.S.
      On looking at the Standing Orders (about the appointment of a Chief Executive) further, I can see that the situation which appears to be developing, as set out in my comment of 15:20 above, produces conflicts of interest which would mean that the appointment could not be seen to be fair.

      I have therefore written to Fiona Alderman, Brent's Chief Legal Officer and Monitoring Officer, to bring these anomalies to her attention, including one where it is clear from the Standing Orders that the Chair of the Senior Staff Appointments Sub-Committee and the Leader of the Council cannot be one and the same person. I hope that she will give advice, to both councillors and officers concerned, based on the points I have drawn to her attention, AND that they will follow that advice, so that the Full Council meeting will be presented with a proposed candidate on 20 May whose appointment can be seen to be fair.

      Philip.

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    2. Good work Philip

      Brent community thank you for keeping up the pressure.

      Sadly unelected citizens have to hold Brent Council to account rather than elected members.

      A sad situation to see democracy in.

      Perhaps Brent Labour Councillors should reflect on what they stand for when they continue to be silent on this very important issue.

      Delete
  18. well, this is interesting and another conflict of interest.

    Our Mr Miah is a governor at Westminster Kingsway: http://www.westking.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Current-Governors.pdf

    But he also seemingly recruited for them: http://www.wkcvp.co.uk/how-to-apply.html

    Um. http://marcsmelt.co.uk/testimonials.html

    And more um. http://www.careers.ofsted.gov.uk/admin/uploaded/Final_Job_Spec_Director_Finance_FIN_SCS_2431.pdf

    If you've got LinkedIn, Leon Ward is interesting, too.

    https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=124256632&authType=name&authToken=dEsl&trk=prof-sb-browse_map-name

    Fairly strong Labour connections.

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  19. As others have remarked, 'Open for Business' is exactly the kind of posturing crap you'd expect to hear from this corporatised bunch of Boris-fanciers.

    Expect 'This is good news for Brent PLC' to follow soon.

    Mike Hine

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    Replies
    1. But the £100m Civic Centre IS open for business, Mike. I believe France Airways has landed there.

      Delete
  20. Philip Grant - 12.04 above - has nailed it: why is Brent Council hiding the post of permanent CE from local residents? Surely there must be at least one of them suitable for the job? Given that Mo Butt stresses his local connections, why hasn't he ensured local advertising? That's the first question.

    The second: what is the connection between Christine Gilbert and Shahidul Miah?

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    1. They seem to go back a long way. If you google on "christine gilbert shahidul miah" you find many interesting connections.

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    2. Wouldn't it be funny if Mr Miah had worked for Tower Hamlets too. Oh look, he did!

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    3. Thank you, Anonymous at 10:47. You would have thought that someone in Brent's HR department would know that they are advertising for a Chief Executive, but I have tried searching for the vacancy on their "Jobs and Careers" webpage on the Brent Council website and this is the result:

      Job vacancies
      Search Results
      Your search results found the following matches. Select the job title for more information.
      Your search was based on (Note: the words being displayed are user input)
      Text Search: Chief Executive
      Sorry, we couldn't find any matching jobs.

      Philip Grant.

      Delete
    4. You're too generous in my opinion, Philip, giving HR the benefit of the doubt. HR is a tool of this 'organisation' - why can't it be called what it is, a local authority? - and is almost certainly aware the permanent CE post but has been told that it mustn't be advertised within the council.

      Delete
  21. This looks even worse with longer term connections with Christine Gilbert Mr Mish and tower hamlets.

    A complete investigation is needed, although unlikely to get it.

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  22. Would someone who is applying to run an organisation with a spend of over £1bn really expect to see such a rather strange mixture of what the Leader likes and doesn't like!

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    1. Yes, a real disconnect.

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  23. Something's not right about Bloomsbury Resourcing Ltd. The 'firm's' own website lists Shadidul Miah as 'Managing Director', and claims to 'have 10 years’ experience in executive recruitment...'

    http://bloomsburyresourcing.co.uk/

    But the Company Check link - thanks to Alison Hopkins, 16.40, above - states in its 'Director Overview' that

    'Shahidul Miah holds 0 appointments at 0 active companies, has resigned from 0 companies and held 1 appointments at 1 dissolved companies. Shahidul is not registered as holding any current appointments...'

    http://companycheck.co.uk/director/906948804

    A search of Companies House shows no record for either Mr Miah or Bloomsbury Resourcing.

    So two further questions seem to be (Anon 10.47): who IS Shahidul Miah and why is Brent Council advertising its top officer job with an outfit that, according to Companies House, doesn't appear to exist?

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    1. Maybe Bloomsbury Consulting "exists" in the same way as Bernard Collier's directorships, ie. only in the far flung reaches of someone's ego

      Delete
    2. I think that I should speak up for the existence of Bloomsbury Resourcing Ltd, as I also checked it out online, at the Companies House website.

      It was registered in April 2010, with company registration number 07256483. The original director (a company registration agent?) resigned soon afterwards, when Shahidul Miah was appointed, and he still appears to be the company's only director (no suggestion that Bernard Collier was ever a director of the company). The company appears to have an issued share capital of £1 (so not "big business").

      The company's registered office address until October 2013 was at Flat 47 Bloomsbury Mansions, WC1B 5ER, when it was changed to 16A Well Hall Parade, Eltham, SE9 6SP. This appears to be the office address of Miah & Company (GB) Ltd, a firm of accountants and tax consultants run by a Mr Miah, who may be Shahidul's father, or another relative. The company is also said to have a "service address" in London WC1, which may be the flat which was previously its R.O. address.

      The company's business appears to have commenced around May 2010. The '10 years experience' claimed on the Bloomsbury Resourcing Ltd website appears to be Mr Miah's experience in executive recruitment, rather than that of his company. The company website is particularly misleading in showing the logos of organisations, and details of posts recruited for, which relate to periods before May 2010, when Shahidul Miah was an employee of, or possibly a partner in, various established recruitment consultancy businesses.

      In summary, Bloomsbury Resourcing Ltd does exist, and Shahidul Miah certainly exists. There is also evidence to confirm their existence. The detailed evidence in the Rosemarie Clarke Employment Tribunal judgement of 4 September 2014 mentions Mr Miah several times, the first instance (in paragraph 64 of the judgement) being that Cara Davani (at the time on a six month contract, from March 2012, with Brent as interim Head of HR) had engaged him to undertake a review of the Council's recruitment service by June or July 2012. Brent's "Monthly Spend" details show that it paid Bloomsbury Resourcing Ltd seven amounts totalling £35,750 between August 2012 and March 2013.

      The same source shows six payments to Bloomsbury Resourcing Ltd totalling £29,900 in June and July 2014. If the company did not exist, Brent Council would definitely be looking red-faced! However, there may be grounds for examining whether proper procurement procedures were followed in awarding contracts to this company, what work was done by the company and whether that work was actually necessary, and whether the services provided under those contracts represented value for money. That would be a matter for Brent's Audit and Investigations team.

      Philip Grant.



      Delete
    3. Philip, I wish you'd checked the company registration no. 07256483 you cite before posting yours above. Try searching the official Companies House webpage and you'll find there are '0 results'. Put Shahdul Miah's director reg. no. 906948804 into the search engine - bingo, '0 results'. As for Shahdul Miah himself, I think you've been too literal in your interpretation of Anon 10.35 above.

      Delete
    4. I thought there had to be at least two officers of a limited company.

      I suspect the company is merely a vehicle to mitigate income tax. (And don't we know someone else who did that?) It's much cheaper to pay corporation tax than income tax, as Any Fule Kno.

      As to procurement. This whole thing does my head in, to say the least. For most of my working life, I was involved in project managing and selling to the public sector. The many myiad and varied careless and blithely spendthrift practices of Brent when it comes to chucking money around are truy boggling. They are also unusual: I dealt with almost every local authority in England and Wales over the years, plus police forces. I can't think of a single one that would simply have engaged a company for this kind of money without proper and due process. Let's also not forget that Davani herself was hired on the back of a fag packet email at £700 a day.

      Finance Scrutiny were assured at various meetings that whilst there might have been a bit of a casual attitude to engaging interims and consultants in the past, this was now at an end. We were told, repeatedly, that ANY interim or consultancy had to go through a proper specification of works and procurement. I remember Davani presenting at one committee meeting on this, with a list of consultancies and such. I don't recall Bloomsbury being on the list.

      I do, by the way, remember that the interim hired to push through the infamous Public Real contract cost over £60K.

      Never mind the Brent Audit team, this ought to go to the Audit Commission.

      Delete
    5. Dear Anonymous at 18:21, I do try to be accurate with facts that I use. I have just checked again on the new BETA government website for Companies House,
      https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk ,and this shows:

      BLOOMSBURY RESOURCING LTD - Company number 07256483

      The only "error" I have spotted in what I wrote is that the company was incorporated on 18 May 2010, not in April 2010 as I had stated.

      Philip.

      Delete
    6. I think that the Company Check link which Alison provided is probably for the wrong Shahidul Miah! Try:

      SHAHIDUL HOQUE MIAH: Director No. 915154504
      Address: Flat 47 Bloomsbury Mansions, 13-16 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5ER

      Philip.

      Delete
    7. With respect, Philip, I suggest you try the latest director reg no. you cite. It's unhelpful to keep posting references that you clearly haven't checked yourself, forcing the rest of us to double-check.

      Delete
    8. Philip, I think it IS the same Miah, but under a different ID? I need to go back and unravel how I got to mine, but it was via a route that led from stuff he'd done.

      Ah, I remember. He'd done something with a company called Subhecha or one of his chums/relatives had. That's how I got to him.

      Delete
    9. I've just checked the latest director link Philip has provided - and guess what? It throws up the same result as Anon 18.21 above found, that's to say '0 results'. Mr Miah and his Bloomsbury Resourcing Ltd is as elusive as ever.

      Delete
    10. Surprise surprise this recruitment organization pops up in Rosemary Clarke's case.

      This is definitely worth an audit.

      This all seems very rotten. People have lost their jobs and yet a tight group at the top have been lavishing themselves at tax payee expense.

      Delete
    11. I am sorry if some of the information I have posted has lead people to get side-tracked from the main issues.

      1) Brent needs a permanent Chief Executive who can deserve the respect of its elected councillors of all parties, its staff who need to be lead by example by a "Head of Paid Service" who is above reproach, and the people of the borough that Brent Council is meant to serve.

      2) The recruitment process for the permanent Chief Executive needs to be seen to be fair, and not open to manipulation by senior officers with an interest in putting forward themselves or their friends for the post, or controlled by a small elite of leading Cabinet members, rather than the wider body of elected councillors.

      Philip Grant.

      Delete
    12. No-one's side-tracked, Philip. Checking on the recruitment agencies Bloomsbury Resourcing/Hamish Davidson and their personnel is part of the necessary public scrutiny which this blog is enabling. The two points you enumerate above demand nothing less.

      Delete
    13. Come on, Philip (16.16 above). 'Brent's Audit and Investigation team' is part of the 'organization' aka Brent Council of which the CE is the overseer. Do you really believe it acts independently of the political will of its constituent parts? It's no use having guards guarding guards if what you want is accountability. Alison Hopkins is correct: Audit Commission is the place for scrutiny.

      Delete
    14. All the more reason for greater public scrutiny.

      Keep the top boss on her toes and Davani for that matter, add Councillor Butt to the equation

      Delete
  24. Wow Pow

    Take that !!! Gilbert and Councillor Butt

    If this is true using a contracting firm that is not a legal entity well I never !

    Even more reason for full investigation.

    ReplyDelete
  25. This does not look very good for Barry Gardiner.

    If he wants votes he better start standing up for Brent citizens and tell Councillor Butt where to go and to hold a transparent selection process.

    Very convenient timing with selection complete after national elections.

    I bet if the chap in Brent Central or the Greens started campaigning for Brent Council to be more transparent people are likely to give them a big tick at the ballot box.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Digging a bit more....

      http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Beth-Stickney/-1946876411

      https://www.tes.co.uk/jobs/vacancy/headteacher-birmingham-310916/

      Delete
  26. CEO BRENT: OPEN FOR DODGY BUSINESS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shouldn't that be 'doggy' business?

      Delete
  27. The leadership of Brent & their hired in lackeys should be ashamed of themselves. I hope Barry Gardiner realises that he is losing votes in Brent and joins community calls for Eric Pickles to investigate the nepotism, as well as reported unlawful & discriminatory practices within.

    ReplyDelete
  28. So Brent Council paid Bloomsbury Consulting £35,750 to undertake a review of their recruitment practices - a review which resulted in Brent spending another £29,900 on fees to Bloomsbury Consulting to recruit for them. You have to admire their chutzpah if nothing else.

    ReplyDelete
  29. It seems that Bloomsbury Resourcing now has a new address

    70 Cowcross Street
    London EC1M 6EL
    United Kingdom

    Thanks to Alison for helpful link below.

    http://www.zoominfo.com/c/Bloomsbury-Resourcing-Limited/345691037

    ReplyDelete
  30. Cllr Bernard Collier has sent me the following message to put the record straight:

    Meg Howarth drew my attention to posts on your website referring to me. However much fun it is for me to read the conspiracy theorists on your site disappear down a black hole, I shall set the record straight.

    I have known Shadidul Miah for 30 years as a good friend.

    Shahidul has been extraordinarily successful working at all the top recruitment firms specialising in Public sector. He now runs Bloomsbury Resourcing.

    After I ran for Brent Central PPC I did a piece of market development work for Bloomsbury Resourcing in the charity sector.

    I have worked as a CEO in the Charity, Not for profit, voluntary sector for 25 years.

    I was an associate director of Bloomsbury - which in the company world means I was someone with expertise brought in on an ad hoc basis.

    I worked from Decemberish to late Feb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "New Storm as Collier Breaks Silence on Miah Link. Butt Reportedly Incandescent as Collier Defies Brent-wide Ban on WM Reading. Clarke Case Continues to Dog Davani. Barry Gardiner Denies Secret EDL Demo Talks with Tommy Robinson ".

      Delete
    2. Capitalism at its best.

      Got to protect reputation otherwise other clients might fly away, then the business is broke.

      Just like News of the World had to be closed to limit damage to reputation, perhaps Councillor Collier and Mish might just relinquish themselves from advising the appointment of a nee CEO in Brent.

      Power to the people.

      We can beat them with social media. WM
      All the very best to all readers.

      Keep up the pressure the cracks are now appearing.

      Delete
    3. Well now. "Market development" - that, people, is selling. I did a lot of it. So, Mr Collier was working for Bloomsbury, using his knowledge of not for profits to open some doors for them. Nowt wrong with that, per se, but the links with Miah are interesting, I think.

      As to associate director, that's a piece of flummery. He'd have been an associate, perhaps: someone known to the business owner with a specific skill who did a self employed piece of "consultancy" for them. That again is common, but associates don't call themselves directors.

      I wonder why Shahidul left PWC, etc.? He'd have earned far more with them than the kind of turnover Bloomsbury show. Commission, and all that.

      Delete
    4. Lol, yeah giving him Brent on a platter

      Delete
    5. Only those stuck in the stone age would ignore the new media. Labour councillors need engage with us if they want our votes again

      Delete
    6. Well-said, Anon 20.14. Was about to write a similar comment when I saw yours. I wouldn't be surprised if Mo Butt hasn't delegated the reading of WM to another at the Civic Centre to keep him briefed. After all, most commentators are making substantive, factual comments. Re Philip's latest comment - 19.19 below - the fact that the permanent CE post is now being advertised internally is, I suggest, no coincidence. The exposure on this blog of the has been admirable. Ignoring it is not an option for Brent PLC. Well-done everyone.

      Delete
    7. 'Decemberish'? Someone else whose name I forget - ah, yes, one Michael Green - also had trouble with dates recently. Indeed, he was even on BBC R4 today spouting his 'error with a date' nonsense. Believe he's also an 'elected' politician - seems to have another name, I recall...

      Delete
    8. Yes that means you Barry Gardiner.

      Greens all the way in Brent.

      We have all had enough and stop trying to use card Tories made us cut public services.

      Brent could have listened to local people and put up Council Tax to save services.

      Let's cut new Brent CEO salary in 1/2. Even £100,000 still seems very high compared to the loss of public services but at least it does not seem as bad as £200,000.

      Say that again Christine Gilbert is getting around £200,000.

      Brent could then employ 5 more people at a reasonable £20k each. Those 5 people could create another 5 jobs as best part of an income of £20k would be respent in the local economy.

      Gilbert is highly unlikely to spend 100k in the local economy as more than likely invested else where. So it makes economic sense cut CEO income by 1/2 as the local multiplier is at least 10 fold. We are all better off apart from CEO, but then we all might be in it together.

      Delete
    9. Cllr Bernard Collier says he has known Shahidul Miah for 30 years as a good friend.
      According to the link below, Young Shahidul was born in August 1968. This means that Bernard and Shahidul have been good friends since they were teenagers. What a sweet and loyal friendship they apper to have!?

      https://www.companiesintheuk.co.uk/director/5332739/shahidul-miah

      Delete
    10. I thought the same.

      School they attended must be good at teaching how to climb the corporate ladder.

      Delete
  31. According to LinkedIn it appears that Shahidul Miah and Hamish Davidson (both named as direct contact advisors for the newly advertised Chief Exec post for Brent) to go back a long way..

    Ref. https://uk.linkedin.com/in/shahidulmiah
    View Shahidul Miah's (United Kingdom) professional profile on LinkedIn. ... Recommendations, 1 person has recommended Shahidul ... Hamish Davidson.

    It appears that Shahidul and Hamish were senior partners of Rockpool..

    "Hamish Davidson was also Chairman & Senior Partner of Rockpools; responsible for overall strategy, governance and direction of this recruitment/headhunting/people development business -

    Led on the recruitment to a whole series of other senior positions, including: ...

    • NEDs for Ofsted ...

    A little more about Shadidul Miah can be found on page 12, at:-

    http://www.navigategroup.co.uk/magazine/autumn2009/NavigateMagazine.pdf

    &

    More from..

    http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Shahidul-Miah/7132502

    I think readers should make up their own minds about the cost and necessity of bringing in these so-called, independent, highly qualified and experienced consultants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Satire is dead.

      How dare Christine Gilbert get the best people she could to find the best CEO they could for Brent ITS AN OUTRAGE I TELL YOU, AN OUTRAGE!!!!

      Typical of Liebour Brent trying to run the council effectively for residents - why can't they be like the Greens in Brighton they know how to really F**k things up.

      Delete
    2. Satire is indeed dead, 13.40, when you pass over all the previous above comments to assert uncritically that Christine Gilbert is seeking the 'best people she could find' by using these recruitment agencies. In what way is this Brent Labour 'trying to run the council effectively for residents'?

      Delete
    3. Why does the Brent Labour apologist (13.40 above) play a party-political card, apparently assuming that those critical of the manner in which the permanent CE post is being advertised are pro-Green and not simply free-thinking non-party people? In what way does this trivialisation of serious argument encourage political engagement?

      Delete
    4. Comments on this blog often take on a life of their own, way beyond the original posting and I think that is healthy. It is worth repeating what is on the masthead: Campaigning for environmental and social justice in the London Borough of Brent and beyond. Against cuts and privatisation and for real democracy. Managed by Martin Francis of Brent Green Party but open to all who share these aims.

      I am just about the only regular Green Party member who posts on here and other posts are by members of no party but community activists and some Labour Party members and probably a Lib Dem now and again. I have no way of knowing the party allegiance of anonymous commenters.

      Delete
    5. Keep up the good work Martin upholding Freedom of speech.

      Pity Councillor Butt and his cronies act like Free Speech does not exist and try and silence the critics.

      The day of reckoning is fast approaching.

      Delete
    6. Seconded, Anon 21.10.

      Delete
  32. Oh, what a surprise, Leon Ward (the third named person to contact in relation to the newly advertised Chief Executive post) is listed as a partner / consultant of Hamish Davidson. Ref:
    http://www.davidsonpartners.com/contact-us/ So all three hired in / outside consultants know eachother very well..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's nice though, really. It would be awful if people involved in Brent HR didn't get on with each other, wouldn't it? When that happens it creates a terrible atmosphere and a dreadful example to others I always think.

      Delete
    2. Clear that neither satire nor sarcasm dead in certain political quarters...

      Delete
    3. Leon Ward was also a SPAD at one point to a Labour MP.

      Delete
    4. Yes it would be terrible if they didn't all get on, you'd almost suspect those whose face didn't fit to be unlawfully sacked and be victimised by a racist bully. Oh, wait...

      Delete
    5. Brent Council has not been about looking out for residents since Gareth left. Butt and his minions are all about themselves

      Delete
    6. I'm lost with all this satire - not sure whether it's dead or alive and kicking. But one thing is clear: Brent Labour apologists lack any capacity for self-criticism. Always blaming 'the other' is a sign of political weakness, not strength. And there's an election coming...

      Delete
    7. The problem is that these local apologists for the Labour careerists and their terminally compromised management team in Brent end up representing Labour in many people's eyes. There is an election coming and not many people who read this blog will be pleased if in May they're faced with 5 more years of the Tories.
      Butt/Davani/Gilbert are the gift that keeps on giving for Cameron and Osborne.

      Delete
    8. I looks possible a hung parliament and possibly the best result as neither mainstream parties offer anything new.

      Labour will cut just like Tories only with moderation whatever moderation might mean.

      SNP all the way in Scotland with Labour wiped out will not give Labour enough.

      Best advice is to vote alternative parties and then you might get someone who truly represents local people.

      Delete
  33. Have just checked the latest website Philip's recommended. Hey presto - Bloomsbury seems to have a third address

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk

    in Farringdon EC1 Cowcross St

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's odd. I've just tried again and it's the Eltham address.

      Delete
    2. Perhaps Bernard Collier can resolve the address issue, Alison - is it Eltham, Farringdon or Bloomsbury Mansions? Over to you Cllr Collier.

      Delete
    3. Eltham - isn't that where Shahidul lived as a child and went to school?

      Delete
    4. A synopsis of Shahidul Miah's Curriculum Vitae..

      Born in August 1968 - 46 years

      Went to Crown Woods Comprehensive School in Eltham

      Reportedly didn't like school until the sixth form when he studied English Language and Literature, as well as A' Level Theatre studies which he enjoyed.

      From school he went to Birmingham Polytechnic, where he spent one year as a full-time academic and elected student union official.

      After a year he returned to London but didn't have a first career choice.

      He took a number of temporary jobs before taking a part time job at Woolwich College. (Now Greenwich Community College.)

      It is unclear where Shahidul qualified himself to become an ESOL teacher but he, reportedly, took up a full time teaching position at the College.

      He left because morale was low and he felt there was a resistance to new ideas.

      Shahidul then took a position at Tower Hamlets, in their newly set up equalities unit, where he stayed for about five and a half years.

      At Tower Hamlets he moved from the equalities unit to the Chief Executives Office, where he spent time working with the corporate complaints team.

      After Working at Tower Hamlets he decided to do a bit of consultancy.

      He was then recommended to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) for a secondment programme for black and ethnic middle managers.

      Shahidul went for an interview but didn't take the secondment. It was about this time, in 2002, that he thought he was really interested in this idea of recruitment..

      Shortly after a recruitment job came up at PWC and he got it. He reportedly took up a position as an executive search and selection consultant where he specialised in education and local government recruitment.

      His team became part of Capita and later changed its name to Veredus.

      While he was there he became in charge of recruiting four non-executive board of directors for Ofsted, as well as a number of divisional managers.

      He also worked with Ofsted as their Independent Assessor for their organisational reviews and internal restructuring.

      Former Veredus colleagues set up Rockpools where he became a managing consultant in 2004, then joined them in 2005.

      In 2007 he became a partner of Rockpools.

      In 2009 he became director of Navigates London Office.

      In 2010 Shahidul set up his own consultancy firm, Bloomsbury Resoursing, and has been employed by Brent Council on numerous occasions, from about 2013 to 2015, to do numerous (seemingly priced) pieces of work.

      For further information please see links below:-

      http://www.navigategroup.co.uk/magazine/autumn2009/NavigateMagazine.pdf

      http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Shahidul-Miah/713250200

      Delete
    5. Brent's Acting Chief Executive, Christine Gilbert, employs Shahidul Miah of Navigate ...

      Navigate wins contract with Ofsted
      ofsted logoNavigate has been appointed to support the final stage of Ofsted’s internal review which will complete Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert’s new organisational structure. Navigate will be supporting the Ofsted team with the recruitment process, developing and placing adverts, managing the application process and attending final panels.
      Shahidul Miah, Navigate’s London Director, worked closely with Ofsted prior to joining Navigate on their Organisational Review acting as the independent assessor for the internal recruitment campaign. He also led on the external recruitment campaign to recruit three Directors and five Divisional Managers.
      The work is due for completion by December. (2010??)

      For further information see link below..
      http://www.navigategroup.co.uk/news.php?o=82


      Delete
  34. I'm sure that address wasn't there yesterday! It looks as if Mr Miah is moving onwards and upwards. Watch out for a change of name from Bloomsbury to Clerkenwell Resourcing Ltd.

    Other news: Brent IS now advertising the post of Chief Executive.
    I'm not sure whether someone at the Civic Centre is following this blog, or whether it is the result of an email I sent two days ago to bring the absence of this vacancy to the attention of the Cabinet member with responsibility for the Council’s role as an employer, but a new item has appeared on the "Jobs and Careers" home page on Brent Council's website:
    SENIOR MANAGEMENT APPOINTMENTS -
    Applications are now being invited for the Chief Executive post. Closes on 10 April 2015.

    I hope that those at the Civic Centre take notice of some of the other comments that concerned local citizens have made above.

    Philip Grant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Philip. As the person who posted the latest address - thanks to the link you provided - your update is significant.

      Delete
    2. The Cowcross Street address is a typical multiple company registration brass plate one. There's at least thirty others registered there.

      I'd surmise that the original Bloomsbury one was his home, but like many other people he now prefers to use an accomodation address.

      Delete
    3. Yet another ex Bloomsbury person here: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/gediminas-zeknys/24/b6/96a

      Delete
  35. I can confirm that people at the Civic Centre are most definitely following this blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll be in trouble .......

      Delete
    2. Of course they're following, 21.57 - and I don't mean to demean your comment by saying that. To the contrary - I wish to reinforce it. Mo Butt and Co - upper-case 'C' seems appropriate since the CE ad refers to an 'organisation', not a local authority - would be mad to ignore the blog on which concerned citizens, including Martin, expend such magnificent effort. Some excellent, even outstanding, investigative/citizen journalism goes on on WM.

      Delete

    3. B Bullies staff

      R Residents pay for mistakes

      E Executive shameful recruitment selection

      N Nepotism highly paid jobs for favoured few

      T Tribunal findings ignored



      C Corrupt management

      O Officers tow the line

      U Unquestionably

      N Nullify disquiet

      C Councillors

      I Ineffectual

      L Labour - defeated?

      Delete
    4. Love It

      Be nice to have this printed in national paper.

      Delete
    5. Thank you, Anonymous at 08:36, for summing up the spirit of the comments on this blog so well. I hope that local and national newspapers will follow up this issue, and reprint your comment, but the people who need to take notice of it are at Brent Civic Centre.

      I have "copied and pasted" your comment in an email sent to Cllr. Butt and his Cabinet colleagues, with copies to Brent's Chief executive and Chief Legal Officer:

      Dear Brent Cabinet members,
      I don't know whether you are following the blog of 20 March on "Wembley Matters" about this subject [link], but I think that you should. It now has over 100 comments, and here is one of the latest of them:

      The appointment, through a fair and open process, of an independent and impartial Chief Executive who "fits" with all political parties (not just with the current Leader of the Council) and leads the Council's staff by good example is what is needed now, otherwise Brent Council will be brought further into disrepute. Yours sincerely,

      Philip Grant.

      Delete
  36. Just writing a paper for an economics conference.

    Adam Smith when he wrote "Moral Sentiments" could not possibly have visioned social media platforms that quickly, efficiently and generally transparently with limited moderation the ability for society to collectively express moral sentiment and pass moral judgement.

    I will be updating Adam Smith's theory of Moral Sentiments, so watch this space.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Good analysis, 22.33. But the 'tactical' voting you allude to is a political death-trap. It's what the established parties and careerist political class rely on to keep us in our place and them in power. We need to call a halt to it and the out-of-date top-down politics it represents. After all, Lab/Lib/Con are all in it together. Most of the policies the Tories have implemented began under Labour, including the 'internal market' in the NHS. All Cameron and his cronies have done is gone the whole hog. We need new policies, fresh thinking and, above all, direct democracy in which the 'professional' (!) political class will be but a distant memory if we want a society fit for all and one we can be proud of. Voting for a party that tries to promote itself as the least worst of a bunch of whipped puppets is a wasted vote, and past its sell-by date.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly why Greece kicked out the incumbent parties including Pasok, Greece's equivalent to Labour.

      Not sure if electorate in UK will go the whole hog and kick out all mainstream parties as gives UKIP a fighting chance, but unless they start listening to local people that is what will happen when citizens have lost all hope.

      Delete
  38. Very odd indeed. Alison - 12.29 above - is correct. The Cowcross address has now disappeared from the link Philip provided but it is still showing on this link

    http://www.zoominfo.com/s/#!search/profile/company?companyId=345691037&targetid=profile

    but clicking on the Bloomsbury Resourcing link within the above takes us back to a Russell Sq map - no address given, just a mobile number.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not showing a proper postal address and only a mobile number is actually illegal under ecommerce law. The Distance Selling Regulations apply to websites. I suppose Bloomsbury would claim not to be "selling", but it's not a clever thing to do in commerical terms, either. I run screaming from any website that doesn't admit where it lives.

      Another thought. If a limited company's entire income comes from only one source, or not much more, for an entire tax year, then HMRC take a dim view. It's because corporation tax is so much lower than income tax, so use of a company is a vehicle to reduce tax rates. It can be entirely legitimate of course.

      That'd not apply to "associates", they'd have to declare it as earned income.

      Honestly, if I try to mind map the relationships in all this it makes my head hurt.

      Delete
  39. Brent Conservatives have now written to the people concerned:


    Sirs,

    As leader of Brent Conservatives I feel I need to place on record some concerns that my colleagues,some Labour members and other interested parties have in respect of this recruitment process......

    1.The very long section dealing with the relationship between Cllr. Butt and the new CEO seems like a President indulging the requirements of his own " personal assistant."The pack refers to the "fit," " what works well, "what style."What happens with all this if Cllr.Butt is removed from post in the near future?

    2.From my point of view the pack should have referred to all the working relationships that the new CEO will have.Where are the pen pictures of all these other people .

    3. I note the section referring to Christine as having " arrived as chief executive " in 2012.I believe this should be corrected to " interim chief executive. "

    I think it is an understatement to state that there will be many people closely following this process.

    Kind Regards,

    John Warren
    >
    >
    >
    > Cllr John Warren

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On your bike Ms Gilbert, Davani and co

      You can't continue to think you can fool us.

      Delete
    2. 'indulging the requirements of his own " personal assistant" ' doesn't actually say what I imagine Cllr Warren wanted to say.

      Delete
    3. Anyone else find the use of first names only by politicians of politicians in a critical context - 'Christine' in John Warren's above - repellent, undermining the very criticism being made? It's as if they know they're 'all in it together' so they daren't tread too harshly.

      Delete
    4. It's just contemporary corporate style, isn't it? The illusion of equality and collegiateship. Makes the treachery a much friendlier and informal business too.

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  40. I'd have used her name in full in that context, as much as anything for the avoidance of doubt. It is also hardly correct to say that she "arrived" (!)

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    1. Indeed, Alison. Correct on both counts. The 'arrived' is particularly telling, demonstrating as it does as insider mentality.

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  41. Did I read somewhere that HR sent a memo out to managers stating they be disciplined if they employed temporary / agency staff for more than 12 weeks? Are there different rules for those employed as Executives, HR and outside consultants?

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  42. I thought WM readers might be interested in reading the link below, which is a welcome message from Christine Gilbert, when she was head of Ofsted in 2010. The welcome message is the introduction of a job advert for a Finance Director. And, if readers scroll down the link, to page 8, it tells you that further details can be obtained from ... guess who? Yes, Cara Davani and Shahidul Miah. 😊

    http://www.careers.ofsted.gov.uk/admin/uploaded/Final_Job_Spec_Director_Finance_FIN_SCS_2431.pdf

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    1. Surprise Surprise !!!

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  43. Error in March 30th 2:09 above..

    With reference to Shahidul Miah's pricey employment with Brent, it appears that he has been employed by the borough to do on-going selected pieces of work (as a so-called 'Independent' consultant but seemingly not very well qualified to do so) as early as June or July 2012, to the present day.

    Please see reference to an post that Phillip Grant wrote, which says:-

    "Cara Davani (at the time on a six month contract, from March 2012, with Brent as interim Head of HR) had engaged him to undertake a review of the Council's recruitment service by June or July 2012. Brent's "Monthly Spend" details show that it paid Bloomsbury Resourcing Ltd seven amounts totalling £35,750 between August 2012 and March 2013.

    The same source shows six payments to Bloomsbury Resourcing Ltd totalling £29,900 in June and July 2012".

    Figures have yet to be obtained of what he was employed to do and what he was paid by Brent from March 2013 to the end of 2015.

    Surely the incestuous relationships between Shahidul Miah , Christine Gilbert and Co., taints an equality fair recruitment process, especially for the new Chief Executive? RESIDENTS CAN NOW ONLY HOPE THAT OUR ELECTED COUNCILLORS SCRUTINISE THIS HIGHLY STAGED MANAGED RECRUITMENT PROCESS.

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    1. I would like to correct an error in your 09:19 post, please, although I agree entirely with your final paragraph. The final sentence in the extract from one of my earlier posts should read:

      'The same source shows six payments to Bloomsbury Resourcing Ltd totalling £29,900 in June and July 2014.'

      I believe that the June and July 2014 payments related to a contract given by Brent's HR department to Bloomsbury Resourcing Ltd to assist in recruiting about a dozen staff for Brent's Business Intelligence Unit (and possibly some extra Communications staff). This new Unit, with an annual salary bill of around half a million pounds, was created within the Assistant Chief Executive's department when Brent knew that it would have to make massive budget savings in the following financial years (£54 million, as we now know!). Some of the staff in this Unit, along with the post of Assistant Chief Executive, have been made redundant less than six months after this expensive recruitment exercise, which must have been approved by, you've guessed, Brent's Director of HR, Cara Davani.

      Philip Grant.

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    2. Pressure should be put on the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, to send in independent investigators to examine alleged financial mismanagement, unlawful practices, including fraud, nepotism as well as poor safeguarding matters in relation to vulnerable children.

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    3. Thank you for correcting the error, Phillip. However, the point I really wanted to make is that it seems Mr Shahidul Miah has sailed of the coat tails of Christine Gilbert and Co since his employment at Tower Hamlets as he, through his so-called independent businesses, has been given paid employment through her when she was head of Ofsted and more recently at Brent from 2012 to 2015.

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