Bent Brent

The nightmare that is today's Brent Council — an outline of the corruption, incompetence and complacency permeating this parasitic organisation

1st August 2010   « Corrupt Council

Gangrenous government

From the mid-1990s, I made a number of complaints to Brent Council's 'housing service' about nuisance caused by a neighbour. My complaints usually met with silence, and appeared to have entered a black hole. Consequently, I made two separate complaints to the Ombudsman, in 2002 and again in 2005. In its response to the Ombudsman on both occasions, the Council presented false and misleading information. It also failed to draw the Ombudsman's attention to important evidence, and withheld information supporting my complaints of harassment and nuisance by this neighbour. In a frantic effort to escape sanction for maladministration, the Council have made a mockery of the Local Government Ombudsman. Of the many issues I had presented to the Council, just two relatively minor complaints were resolved. Most of the nuisance of which I had complained was allowed to continue.
      My most urgent complaint was this neighbour's operation of a washing machine at night. This equipment is installed in an area close to my bedroom and its operation at night is very disruptive. The Council's 'noise patrol' refused to visit to observe the nuisance. My diary showing use of this equipment at inconsiderate hours, often throughout the night, was ignored by the Council. It refused to arrange monitoring of the nuisance caused by this use, and told me it would not prevent this nuisance. It did not tell the Ombudsman it had refused to prevent it, and represented itself as willing to resolve the matter. I was not aware this neighbour's leasehold agreement specified a 'cut-off time' for operation of noisy equipment, and the Council did not tell the Ombudsman of the existence of this restriction. This neighbour was allowed to continue breaking their leasehold agreement, apparently with the Council's connivance. (Although I became aware in 2008 of the existence of a 'cut-off time' for leaseholders' use of noisy equipment, I have not been informed formally by the Council of its existence.)

Mickey Mouse management

In the Council's glossy publication on neighbour behaviour issued in 2003, tenants are reminded not to do anything which causes nuisance to others. Although tenants are told not to use noisy equipment such as washing machines after 9:00 p.m. the Council have allowed this neighbour to use this noisy equipment habitually throughout the night. Today, the Council continue to refuse to prevent nuisance caused by this neighbour's use of this equipment at night. The Council claim, because this neighbour now is a leaseholder, they are not bound by rules related to tenants. It is obvious Brent Council have instituted a bifurcated policy on neighbour behaviour for its estates, where its tenants are expected to behave differently than its leaseholders. Tenants who experience nuisance from noisy equipment used at night by other tenants can expect to have this nuisance resolved without undue delay. Tenants unfortunate enough to live near antisocial leaseholders, however, are forced to endure noise detrimental to their health and to enjoyment of their home, simply because the Council have sold their rights.
      In a deliberate attempt to disguise the inequity of this policy on its estates, the Council have destroyed logs of telephone calls made to its 'noise patrol', letters delivered to its 'housing service' regarding problems caused by this leaseholder have disappeared, and its employees have failed to pursue evidence of nuisance. Brent Council have created an environment which induced this leaseholder to force their way into my home and assault me. Actively, the Council is destroying local communities and encouraging social breakdown by fostering friction between tenants and leaseholders on its estates. All its tenants potentially are exposed to similar harassment from neighbours who also are leaseholders. If they do not experience nuisance, it is because that leaseholder's consideration and respect for others, cemented by a sense of fairness, prevents it.

Arrogant androids

By ignoring its published guidelines on dealing with antisocial behaviour, Brent Council knowingly reneged on its duty of care towards its tenants. From 2008, I have made its 'chief executive', Gareth Daniel, aware of the Council's intentionally misleading, dishonest response to the Ombudsman. He also has been made aware of the incompetence and/or dishonest behaviour of a relatively small number of Council employees. Daniel failed to respond. After the identities and unacceptable behaviour of these individuals was published in Bent Council, the Council's only response was to threaten legal action if this information was not removed immediately.
      These are public servants whose inappropriate behaviour, ignored by their employer, justifies disclosure of their identities. They have shown a callous disregard for the welfare of the borough's residents, and are unsuitable for entrustment with service to the public at any level. Brent Council have shown itself to be a deceitful organisation, motivated by a self-serving culture. It is lead by a 'chief executive' who is complacent and incompetent by ignoring these serious issues, and who has shown contempt for residents of the borough.
      The nuisance caused to me by this leaseholder, and the Council's failure to deal with this nuisance, is set out in detail in this blog. Individual Council employees who have shown incompetence and/or dishonesty in relation to my complaints of nuisance are identified throughout, substantiated by formal documents and other evidence in my possession.
      When it became obvious I would not be intimidated by threats of legal action, the Council contacted me with a letter dated 29-7-2009 apparently showing a willingness to consider a way out of the morass created by a Disneyesque management of its housing service. One year after making this 'offer', I have yet to receive a response to my reply dated 1-8-2009. Bullying tactics having failed, it now appears these charlatans have chosen simply to hide away, the trait of any bully when challenged.
      For the past year, Brent Council have been aware of what is required of it to address the serious problems outlined here. The elections this May were fought on the concept of fairness: It's time now to show this is not mere rhetoric.

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