S2
Friday, 14 December 2018
SBC
Index
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
Exclusive
Original article
Update #2
Update #3 The Pay-off



Ruth Bagley investigation - Update #1

Multiple claims chief executive Bagley tried to sabotage Children's Trust

Reporter: Paul Janik

An investigation into the professional activities of Slough Council's chief executive Ruth Bagley has been prolonged by the discovery of new material. Witnesses have described sensational events. Original article

Slough Unitary Authority's independent externally conducted investigation by a solicitor possessing inside knowledge of how councils work, has unearthed significant extra material, according to sources interviewed exclusively by the Slough Times.

Described by some as an unexpected treasure trove, the material forced the probe to exceed its planned duration, extend its scope and increase the quantity of witnesses interviewed.

Some eye witnesses compiled contemporaneous notes of their professional encounters with Mrs Bagley. Those astonishing revelations are damning.

The Slough Times understands most - but not all of the serious allegations - relate to the Slough Children's Services Trust.

The Trust, established by an exasperated central government, has operated all the council's Children's Services from 30 September 2015.

THREE highly critical OFSTED reports, the council's repeatedly indifference to the needs of vulnerable children, and the staggering inabilities of Mrs Bagley and her supporters (then council leader, Cllr Rob Anderson, and then deputy council leader Cllr James Swindlehurst) forced government intervention.

In the latter part of 2015, the Slough Times regularly received reports that Ruth Bagley was trying to prevent the Trust working. Other uncorroborated allegations in the same period of time said Ruth is against the Trust.

It is well known that then council leader, Cllr Rob Anderson, was against the Trust taking-over the council's Children's Services; so too was failed executive councillor for Children's Services, Cllr Pavitar Mann, whom some unkindly say liked collecting bad OFSTED reports more than doing her job to safeguard children.

Left to right: Cllrs Pavitar Mann, Rob Anderson & James Swindlehurst, 6 June 2016

Some recently interviewed witnesses described amazing and disturbing incidents of Mrs Bagley's behaviour, and the unbelievable refusal of Cllr Anderson, her line manager, protector and chief apologist, to listen to complaints and concerns about her professional conduct.

Most allegations made against Mrs Bagley relate to the Slough Children's Services Trust and can, in the Slough Times' opinion, be accurately described as Mrs Bagley attempting to sabotage the Trust's operation.

Another allegation is Mrs Bagley appointed an unsuitable person as council Monitoring Officer because she thought the person was weak and would be unquestioningly obedient to her. Rather stupid, the Slough Times thinks, to say that in front of witnesses. It is officially admitted Mrs Bagley exceeded her lawful authority by secretly making decisions reserved exclusively for a full meeting of councillors.

There are complaints of Mrs Bagley's intimidation of other staff.

Two weeks ago a source told the Slough Times that when chief executive Mrs Bagley started at Slough Council in 2007, she could not do the job and was given the help and support of a mentor.

Left to right: Cllrs Pavitar Mann, Rob Anderson & James Swindlehurst, 6 June 2016

Cllr Anderson's unquestioning defence of chief executive Mrs Bagley, occasionally assisted by his rotund deputy Cllr James Swindlehurst, was fundamentally detrimental to the good, efficient and effective functioning of the council.

Cllr Anderson was unceremoniously dethroned, as council leader, at the extra-ordinary council meeting on Monday 6 June 2016. He lead the walk-out of his lemming-like supporters renowned for their lack of ability. At that same moment several councillors said Mrs Bagley was crying; many confirmed her eyes were noticeable wet.

Were Mrs Bagley's tears remorse for her catalogue of personal failures including:-

  • ignoring the absence of lighting in Salt Hill Park's two pitch-black railway tunnels that put women, children and other vulnerable people at serious risk of assault, robbery, sexual assault or worse FOR MORE THAN ONE YEAR, or
  • her personal decision, as head of the Slough Planning Authority, to deliberately refuse to implement the Planning Inspector's decision that an illegal shanty extension, used for the preparation of food for retail sale, be demolished ?

Mrs Bagley's tears were probably mourning for the lost of her once powerful protector now relegated to a "normal" councillor of no importance.

On 15 July, less than 6 weeks after Cllr Anderson's ousting, sufficient evidence had accumulated to legally justify the suspension on full pay of chief executive Ruth Bagley OBE.

This is the tip of the iceberg.

Thankfully the replacement council administration are noticeably better than the discredited and despised Bagley, Anderson and Swindle despots. The Clean-up Slough campaign has started.

In thoughtful mitigation, Mrs Bagley should never have applied for the chief executive's job at Slough Unitary Authority. Coming from a small district council, she was unqualified to run a demanding unitary authority and totally unsuitable.

Mrs Bagley carelessly, some might say, threw her lot in with Labour's Cllr Anderson, even though he was in opposition at the time.

Mrs Bagley's close links with Labour MP Fiona MacTaggart have never been published.

One of Mrs Bagley's closest top officials from South Hams District Council told the Slough Times none of the staff there thought she would last 3 years in Slough; but she did and stayed for 9 years before her critics and victims were able to submit evidence against her.

It will be interesting to know whether the deposed council leader Rob Anderson cared enough about Ruth Bagley's welfare to provide her with support, training and a badly needed mentor. Being her boss Cllr Rob Anderson had a duty to help Mrs Bagley. Knowing hands-off Anderson's modus operandi, Cllr Anderson probably ignored the growing crisis, both to Mrs Bagley's personal detriment and the detriment of everyone else.

Mrs Bagley is still, until she leaves Slough Unitary Authority, a suspended council employee currently enjoying a combined salary and pensions package worth £186,000.

Mrs Bagley's employee status means her employer, Slough Council, may prevent more sensational details of Mrs Bagley's conduct emerging into the public arena. Unless Mrs Bagley contests the independent enquiry's findings or the decision of councillors, if they vote to dismiss her, the public will be kept in the dark despite having a legitimate interest in knowing what has been happening in their town and funded by their taxes.

If Mrs Bagley resigns one can expect the matter to quietly close.

Cllr Swindlehurst, the council's cleverest and nastiest councillor, has been circulating anonymous letters falsely alleging the new administration is secretly negotiating a £300,000 settlement. The Slough Times believes Cllr Swindlehurst is deluded and deliberately trying to destabilise the new improved council administration out of revenge for his Labour colleagues kicking him out of his deputy leadership position.

The unmasking of Ruth Bagley was impossible before the removal of Cllr Rob Anderson from his position as council Leader because of his protection of Mrs Bagley.

After 15 years as Labour leader and 11 years as council Leader regularly inflicting disasters upon the public of Slough, not forgetting the £234,000 to £500,000 secret pay-offs to senior staff, some of whom were subsequently declared by Ruth Bagley to be failures, utterly useless Cllr Rob Anderson just had to go.

A member of the public has requested more of Cllr Anderson's achievements to be listed, including:-

  1. Presiding over the virtual bankruptcy of the council in 2002/2003;
  2. Closing all the borough's 8 supervised Children's Play Centres;
  3. Increasing Council Tax by 15%;
  4. Building the £25 million The Curve in the town centre as a combined Library, Registry Office, hire venue etc. without a single parking space except for one hastily created disabled parking place; and
  5. Destroying the existing Brunel Bus Station, with overhead car park, which could have been refurbished for £1 million then spending £12 million on the open air 'Slug' bus station where passengers get wet, freeze in the winter and it has no public toilets - elderly women passengers are told to rush across the road to the railway station and to beg to be let through the barriers to use the railway station's toilets.

There are other examples attributable to Cllr Anderson and his deputy Cllr Swindlehurst.

The Slough Times thanks Labour councillor Sohail Munawar for courageously deciding the town needed rescuing from the combined Anderson, Swindlehurst and Bagley tyranny.

Cllr Munawar wisely chose the most impressive Labour councillor available, Slough girl Cllr Sabia Hussain, for his deputy. Their combined vision and commitment to the people of Slough easily exceeded the combined pitiful efforts of the grossly failing Anderson and Swindlehurst dynasty.

Regrettably Cllrs Munawar and Hussain were subjected to vile racist behaviour by a few Labour councillors and attacked by council chief executive Ruth Bagley who should have known better, but Mrs Bagley mistakenly thought, after so many years of getting away with things, she was untouchable because of her protector Cllr Rob Anderson.

The Slough Times also thanks Labour councillors whom, in May this year, decided that Cllr Rob Anderson's leadership, or more accurately lack of proper leadership, was so intolerable they voted to remove him as Labour Group Leader. If anyone has a copy of the video clip allegedly showing Cllr Swindlehurst crying at losing his deputy group leadership, please contact us.

Thanks also to opposition Conservative and UKIP councillors whose public vote was crucial in overthrowing ghastly council tyrants Cllrs Anderson and Swindlehurst. That widely applauded victory permitted, for the very first time, formal complaints to be made about the professional conduct of chief executive Bagley.

Slough Unitary Authority, the official title of Slough Council since 1998, faces many challenges, both existing and new, but the new revitalised, dynamic and enthusiastic management of senior staff and executive councillors is certainly impressive. It can be a new beginning for the borough of Slough.

Happy staff say the council is improving. Working together with its public, the council can achieve wonders now the appallingly repressive Anderson, Swindlehurst and Bagley regime has ended.

A few Bagley and Anderson loyal supporters remain in key staff positions. For many years they enjoyed non-challenging jobs with little or virtually no supervision. They may use every opportunity to create trouble.