Corruption, fraud, nepotism – that Youth Services email in full

In response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request LW has obtained the original email message read out by Deputy Mayor Cllr. Rachael Saunders in response to the political party / group / Islamic Forum Europe front / who cares anymore / whatever previously known as the Chums Of Lutfur ‘Excellency’ Rahman Association (CHOLERA) at the Council AGM on Wednesday 18 May 2016.

Our original report is here PREVENT linked scandal in Tower Hamlets.

And remember folks, local authority Youth Services are partly responsible for the delivery of the government’s PREVENT anti-radicalisation strategy.

But this is Tower Hamlets. Under Rahman. Whatever could have gone wrong?

LW was sent the original email message and the body of the email is reproduced below. The header information is tricky to decipher (it looks like this: üjØkølœm?søo??qrs/t?uOv_woá??_|è/?éø}Ô~?Ä?ÅÇ/É?ÑOÖ_ÜoáéO?âüä) but it would seem that the recipient is Mayor John Biggs, author is Claire Belgard who is Interim Head of Integrated Youth and Community Services.

Lucky you Claire.

Original text of email

Debbie and I met with Rachael last night and agreed to send you some briefing points for tonight’s Annual Council Meeting as we are concerned that some of the misinformation currently being put out around the interim delivery model.

Below are some bullets that rebut the points being made in the on-line petition currently circulating, I have included a point on the investigations as Rachael was keen that this was included as context though we do need to be careful about public statements on this while investigations are on-going.

As per Rachael’s email yesterday I am also developing a direct communication for young people and parents and another information cascade for staff in the service. The interim delivery model for the youth service has been developed in response to investigations, feedback and audits that show that we do not have
the staff to run all existing sessions and that the quality of delivery is patchy.

The service has faced allegations of fraud, corruption, nepotism, failure to declare personal interests, failure to declare criminal convictions, breaches of recruitment and procurement processes, breaches of council financial regulations and breaches of health and safety and data protection legislation. Internal investigations into these are ongoing.

This is not a good enough service for the young people of the borough and cannot continue.

The reduction in the number of venues does not represent a 75% cut to the service as there are no cuts to the youth service budget and there are no proposals for cuts to jobs or working hours in the interim model.

By concentrating our resources on a reduced number of venues we are able to build delivery plans which are well resourced and offer a broader and more inclusive offer for all young people in the borough.

The next steps of this process are to collate the delivery plans for each centre, analyse the gaps and procure or commission to meet these gaps. This analysis is due to be completed by the end of this month and procurement or commissioning is due to take place in June with the objective of ensuring a similar level of sessions and contacts as are currently delivering.

The impact of this interim model will be carefully monitored, as will any impact on equality target groups or particular communities. Where an impact is demonstrated the youth service has the flexibility within its budgets to develop a response to this.

Claire Belgard

Interim Head of Integrated Youth and Community Services
Integrated Youth and Community Services
Children’s Services
London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Still burrowing

So there you have it. Nothing particularly revealing but it does give us the opportunity to share our favourite video of 2016 so far (below) for your viewing pleasure while we keep on burrowing away to provide you with the full story behind the email.

And what a story it is.


%d bloggers like this: