I hate making written complaints. Too often by the time the answer arrives life
has moved on and I don’t much care any more.
You probably think I am constantly complaining to Bexley council but for the past four years at least I have only complained when they have committed a criminal offence against me. The obscene garbage that started life at the end of Cabinet member Peter Craske’s phone line and the lies perpetrated by councillor Cheryl Bacon and repeated to the press that I had participated in some sort riot in the council chamber when every councillor present knows that I neither moved nor said a word.
For someone who doesn’t like making complaints the past week has not been a good one. I spent most of Sunday writing a long report on the disaster zone which is Newham council’s Social Services Department. Quite literally they have not done a single thing right since I got involved with them in mid-July.
A few days earlier I had send a complaint to The Docklands and East London Advertiser because they reported that this blog was run by a vexatious fascist. There has been no reply and now I shall have to make a formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. As if I have the spare time for that!
My email to Tower Hamlet’s Commissioners went unanswered too except that the copy to Council Leader Rachael Saunders provoked the comment that it wasn’t me she had called a vexatious fascist, it was Mick Barnbrook. There is only one place she could have got that nonsense from and that is the Obsessive Bun Eater at Bexley council of whom the Commissioners sought a report.
Mick didn’t get a reply to his email to the Commissioners either (there was an acknowledgement which is more than I received) and he is not the sort of man to take that lying down. Unlike me he is not reluctant to pen complaints.
Within the last few weeks Mick Barnbrook has extracted £500 compensation from Virgin Media after they left his elderly in-laws without a telephone service for 50 days, and rather incredibly he fought EasyJet who had swindled him as that airline is wont to do and beat them in court. The BBC took note of that triumph and interviewed Mick for a forthcoming programme on persistent complainers.
You will not therefore be surprised to learn that Mick has complained about the Tower Hamlets Commissioners ignoring him, to the Secretary of State for Communities Greg Clark no less.
Dear Mr Clark,
I wish to make a formal complaint against Sir Ken Knight, Max Caller, Chris Allison and Alan Wood, Commissioners appointed by you to oversee the appointment of Mr Will Tuckley as Chief Executive of Tower Hamlets Council.
My complaint relates to their failure to take proper account of an email I sent to them on 20th August 2015, relating to the appointment of Mr Tuckley.
On 12th August 2015, in accordance with directions issued by you on 29th April 2015, pursuant to Section 15 of the Local Government Act 1999, requiring Tower Hamlets Council to complete the appointment of the Chief Executive post by 27th August 2015, Mr Will Tuckley, Chief Executive of Bexley Council, was appointed as Chief Executive, subject to the appointment being confirmed at an extraordinary general meeting to be held by the full Council on 26th August 2015.
My email of 20th August 2015 sent to the Commissioners for Tower Hamlets Council, together with the Mayor, pointed out that Mr Tuckley was the subject of an allegation of Misconduct in Public Office, made by myself and three other members of the public and that the file relating to the allegation was with the Crown Prosecution Service awaiting a decision.
I also pointed out in the email that, as a result of the corrupt relationship that existed between Bexley Council and Bexleyheath Police whilst Mr Tuckley was Chief Executive, three Chief Superintendents, one Chief Inspector and two police constables were currently the subject of investigation by the Metropolitan Police Professional Standards Department for criminal offences and gross misconduct.
One councillor and two other Bexley Council employees are also subject to a criminal investigation along with Mr Tuckley relating to the same matter.
I suggested that in the circumstances it would be prudent to defer the appointment of Mr Tuckley, until a decision had been reached by the Crown Prosecution Service.
My allegation was the subject of a supplemental report by the Service Head, Human Resources and Workforce Development that was discussed prior to the decision by the full council at the council meeting on 26th August 2015.
In Section 3.5(c) of the report it states that as part of the technical assessment element of the recruitment process Mr Tuckley mentioned a website about Bexley Council (Bexley-is-Bonkers which the complainant is associated with) on which, from time to time numerous complaints, allegations and concerns have been raised. Reference was not made to any specific allegations.
I believe that section is deliberately ambiguous, in order to cover up the fact that both Tower Hamlets Council and the Commissioners would have been fully aware that Mr Tuckley was the subject of a criminal allegation, which is mentioned on the first page of the website.
I also consider Mr Tuckley was disingenuous in not mentioning at any stage of the selection process, the fact that he was the subject of a criminal investigation, a fact he was aware of.
Evidence that Mr Tuckley never mentioned at any time during the selection process, the fact that he was the subject of a criminal allegation, is contained in Section 3.3 of the report, where it states - AFTER receiving the emailed concerns of 20th August 2015, Mr Tuckley was asked to comment on the comments of the email.
I am confident that had he mentioned the fact, he was aware that he would not have been selected, bearing in mind the previous history of Tower Hamlets Council.
In Section 3.7 of the report it states that if the Council were concerned about the available information, it could refer the matter back to the Appointments Sub Committee for further consideration, HOWEVER, THIS WOULD CAUSE THE COUNCIL TO BREACH THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S DIRECTIONS.
I consider that Tower Hamlets Council selection process was not carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Officer Employment Procedure Rules.
By failing to defer the appointment, by referring the matter back to the Appointments Sub Committee for reconsideration, Tower Hamlets Council failed to take into account that all appointments be made on merit, in accordance with Section 7 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.
In Section 3.5(b) of the report it states that the Commissioners have been consulted about the matters in this report and they have confirmed that they will remain satisfied should the Council proceed to confirm Mr Tuckley's appointment
If that statement is correct, I consider the Commissioners have failed to carry out the responsibilities delegated to them by you, by not properly supervising the selection process of the appointment of Chief Executive.
A major element of their failure was their reliance on information provided to them, that was ambiguous and incorrect.
I also think their support of Tower Hamlets Council was due to the fact that had the matter been referred back to the Appointments Sub Committee, which was the proper course of action, Tower Hamlets Council would have been in breach of your directions.
This may have reflected badly on the Commissioners.
I am therefore requesting a full investigation into the failure of the Commissioners to properly supervise the selection of Mr Will Tuckley as Chief Executive of Tower Hamlets Council.
I look forward to your response.
Michael Barnbrook, Inspector, Metropolitan Police (Retired),
As previously noted, with corruption being widespread, Mick’s letter has to be an open invitation for someone to get the CPS to resolve Mr. Tuckley’s situation, to borrow the phrase used by the police to get councillor Craske off of a Misconduct charge.