S2
Thursday, 20 September 2018
SBC
Index
Monday, 16 July 2018
Exclusive

Employment Tribunal revelations

Slough Council scandals exposed

Report and photographs: Paul Janik

Allegations of a serious criminal offence, brought to the personal attention of Slough Council's then acting chief executive, was not reported to Thames Valley Police. Instead acting chef executive, Roger Parkin, refused to take any action says an unchallenged Employment Tribunal statement.

Mr Parkin, now claiming no involvement even thought he knew the details at the time, enthusiastically attributes all responsibility to Alan Sinclair, the Adult Social Services director.

The covering-up of criminal offences including corruption and fraud at Slough Council are, in the Slough Times honest opinion, regular occurrences, first observed in 2002.

Readers may remember it was Labour-supporting council officials who removed the borough's once cherished and highly respected Coat of Arms from the council's notepaper and signs. The Coat of Arms motto:-

Serve with honour

disappeared too. Did that morality shame or embarrass reproachable council figures ?

In 2017, the council's former Head of Legal was forced-out of Slough Council, the Slough Times believes, by a group of white males:-

  1. Roger Parkin, who was booted-out of the council with £440,000 in January 2018
  2. Mike England, the £650 a day (sources say) contractor of dubious, in the Slough Times opinion, ability and usefulness (at the council for 4 years, sources say)
  3. Hugh Peart, a solicitor from the London Borough of Harrow who have taken-over all the council's legal activities – at considerable extra cost to the public claim staff.

The Slough Times has asked Mike England and Hugh Peart for their comments.

An angry-sounding Mr Parkin, perhaps influenced by alcoholic consumption, awoke this reporter at 23:30 one evening but never denied his involvement.

Mr Parkin is known to dislike the former Head of Legal – some say he feared the Head of Legal as a potential competitor for the job he lusted after, the council's chief executive position.

At the Employment Tribunal examples were given of other staff being treated substantially better than the Head of Legal, despite more serious complaints against them.

The Slough Times wonders if the Head of Legal making several whistle-blowing complaints upset influential council figures.

The Head of Legal was honest, very law abiding, respectable, fair and decent. Qualities acclaimed elsewhere but not in Slough Council's sleazy climate.

Fake accusations against the Head of Legal collapsed after months of exclusion but the white males refused to let the Head of Legal resume her work.

Was it the employee's skin colour or her religion or her knowledge of council sleaze that motivated the men to stop her working ?

An Englishwoman of Asian extraction, with a light brown suntan, and an experienced solicitor, she was much liked by honest and hardworking staff but hated by the council's bunch of scheming predominantly white-skinned bullies, sometimes called "the Mafia". Inventing false complaints against other staff is their speciality.

At the start of July an Employment Tribunal in Reading examined the lady's case against Slough Council.

None of the ex-employee's 4 witnesses were questioned by the council. Their evidence was accepted as true.

One witness drove for 4 hours to Reading to be questioned by the council. After she arrived, Slough's callous council decided not to question her.

Was the wasted 8 hours round-trip another example of Slough Council punishing witnesses who dared to reveal the truth ?

Determined to attack their enemy, the council spent two days subjecting the Head of Legal to a barrage of questions and criticisms. The council's onslaught failed to undermine the Claimant's case against them.

The council's 1,000s of pages of documents seemed to overload everyone.*

In the current Employment Tribunal case, the council's witnesses seemed to collapse when examined – certainly not an inspiring spectacle for a local authority that had spent, so far, an estimated £180,000, including on a senior QC barrister, defending its questionable conduct – more public cash poured down the drain by faceless council officials.

In the Slough Times experience, overloading council victims with an excess of superfluous paperwork is a typical Slough Labour Party and Slough Council tactic. About 10 years ago, a senior Asian-looking member of staff was badly victimised by Slough Council. He was suspended without reason and given a fake reason 3 weeks later. The innocent man accumulated in his garage more than 30 lever-arch files full of documents from the council.

After suspension on full pay for 1 year 11 months, Slough Council secretly paid their employee an astonishing sum of public money to hush-up the council's utterly disgraceful bullying and shameful misconduct. The council provided a good employment reference, too.

That employee was a decent hard-working and genuinely nice person who always did his best to help the public. The whole scandal cost Slough tax payers an estimated £700,000 – all in secret, of course.

Another strange fact to emerge during oral examination of the council's witnesses is that:-

  1. Surjit Nagra, a HR Adviser;
  2. Mike England, the £650 per day contractor;
  3. Hugh Peart, the London Borough of Harrow solicitor;
  4. Finbar McSweeney, the corporate complaints manager; and
  5. Jane Ward, the Freedom of Information manager

frequently meet to scrutinise the public's Freedom of Information requests.

Inevitably we wonder why the council seems reluctant to properly answer, without undue delay, the public's legal requests for public information.

The Slough Times has asked Surjit Nagra, Mike England, Hugh Peart and Finbar McSweeney why they are involved in vetting, and possibly censoring, the public's Freedom of Information requests. We requested a copy of the council's policy authorising their puzzling behaviour.

The Slough Times was surprised to learn how popular the Reading Employment Tribunal is with Slough Council staff. A constant drip-drip of Slough Council cases keeps popping-up, involving mostly Asian and whistle-blowing council staff. This suggests all is not well at Slough's Labour Party-run local authority.

Is this really good, open and transparency local government ?