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Council deputy leader slams potential appointment of Roger Parkin as chief executive

A scathing account of foul language, aggressive behaviour and poor performance from Slough Borough Council’s (SBC) chief executive in-waiting was unleashed by the council’s deputy leader last night (Monday).

At an SBC appointments sub-committee meeting at The Curve, Cllr Sabia Hussain (Lab, Central) revealed her long list of objections to Roger Parkin’s potential appointment to the role by council leader Sohail Munawar (Lab, Elliman).

She accused Mr Parkin, the current interim chief executive, of calling Slough’s Labour Party chief whip and planning committee chairman, Cllr Haqeeq Dar (Lab, Wexham Lea), a ‘f*** wit’ before pretending he did not say it and later apologising.

She also said Mr Parkin called the former SBC deputy leader Cllr James Swindlehurst (Lab, Cippenham Green) a ‘fat f***’ in front of her, SBC’s current leader Cllr Sohail Munawar (Lab, Elliman) and external parties.

Another message seen by The Express and discussed in the meeting appears to show Mr Parkin referring to a member of staff as a ‘little s***’ to junior staff.

Cllr Hussain asked: "As members, how can we trust that Roger respects us when he openly talks about us in this fashion? What else has he said that has not as yet come to light?”

The deputy leader said whistle-blowing complaints made against Mr Parkin ‘have not been investigated with any kind of rigour’.

“I was sent the whistle-blowing complaints so I know what it says, as does the leader,” she added.

“We know the matters are very serious and need to be investigated thoroughly.  

“We also know the leader sent Roger the whistle-blowing complaint to Roger’s personal email address. 

“Whether the leader was asked to do this by Roger or not we will never know.”

Cllr Hussain said SBC’s former head of legal services Amardip Healy and monitoring officer Gurpreet Anand both raised grievances against Mr Parkin.

“We need to know what those grievances relate to, and why the council paid one off [Mr Anand] and the other is bringing an employment tribunal against the council.

“The council has been subjected to one scandal after another for the last year and they have him [Mr Parkin] at the centre of them.”

Cllr Hussain criticised Mr Parkin for not doing enough to update SBC’s constitution after former chief executive Ruth Bagley left in Christmas 2016.

She said changes to SBC’s whistle-blowing policy have done little to build necessary confidence.

In a report submitted by Cllr Hussain at the meeting, she says Mr Parkin was ‘abusive and physically aggressive’ towards Ms Bagley and was referred for anger management.

Cllr Hussain said she understood that Mr Parkin’s performance assessment by external advisors to the council’s recruitment panel was the poorest of all candidates for the chief executive role, which was not revealed to cabinet.

"Certain members of the panel have prejudged the outcome of this recruitment process,” Cllr Hussain added.

Other accusations against Mr Parkin included watching football on his phone during council meetings and making inappropriate jokes in public forums.

Cllr Hussain’s objections were then discussed in part two of the meeting, which was closed to press and public.

Sub-committee member Cllr Wayne Strutton (Con, Haymill and Lynch Hill) walked out mid-way through, calling the meeting ‘farcical’.

“I will not be a part of an organisation that supports bullying,” he said.

“If you accept one form of bullying and sexism or whatever, you accept it all and unless you stand up against it, nothing will change. Slough needs to change.”

Following part two, the panel dismissed all of Cllr Hussain’s objections.

Cllr Munawar said the council had examined Mr Parkin’s records and found no evidence of him attending anger management but that he would be kept on an informal probation agreement to help stifle inappropriate behaviour.

Cllr Munawar denied Cllr Hussain’s objection that members of the Appointments Sub-Committee had not received any formal training.

Full council is expected to vote on Mr Parkin’s appointment at a public meeting on Tuesday, November 28, at The Curve in William Street.

Mr Parkin and Cllr Munawar have been contacted for comment.

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  • Sophie Wright

    22:10, 02 November 2017

    You are taking this badly 'Stranger'. You seem to think those commenting know more about the murky carry-on going on inside council walls than has been reported here. Surely no one gets a massive payout from the employment tribunal unless the council has done something wrong. Your attempts to divert attention from legitimate concerns about Mr Parkin's conduct are risible. You are the only person to link his name with 'rape', 'war crimes' and 'the devil'. For decent people, the allegations in the article are more than enough for concern. The Slough Express has given Mr Parkin the opportunity to answer the allegations. Let's see if he does...

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    • Stranger

      12:12, 03 November 2017

      Don't pretend you haven't seen Janik's allegations, and you yourself added an unfounded claim that he had threatened to punch Bagley in the face. The article didn't mention that. You added it gratuitously, and without having to comply with any journalistic standards, just because you don't like him and you think it wins you support against him. You are mistaken in assuming that people are idiots. The employment tribunal is seen as a fin d'epoque by council employees reaching the end of the road, who know that the council often settles out of court. The standard of proof in an employment tribunal is not that of a criminal court. It's much lower. So claimants typically lay on the allegations, thick and heavy, just on 'his word against mine'. They've nothing to lose and everything to gain. Meanwhile, people like you wantonly feed the rumour mill online, and you don't care how much it costs the council to lay rumour upon rumour. As for unhappy council employees, you said they were 'hard working', but that's a joke, as anyone with experience of public service knows. They're on to a cushy little number in a safe job with lots of leave, they're not easily motivated and they're not easily fired, unlike employees in the real world, i.e. the private sector. These mollycoddled grievances are because the blame culture you deliberately foster to bring down your rivals gives them the chance to take payoffs, extended 'stress' leave over a bad word magnified by your Chinese whispers onine.

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      • Sophie Wright

        14:02, 03 November 2017

        It's 'Mrs Bagley' to you Stranger. Have some respect for your betters.

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      • Paul Janik

        13:01, 03 November 2017

        So far it is two witnessed events of threatening to smash her face in and a separate incident of calling Mrs Bagley a b-i-t-c-h. Witnesses told me Mrs Bagley was afraid of him. Why have these worrying events not been investigated ?????

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        • Sophie Wright

          14:02, 03 November 2017

          The Stranger doth protest too much, methinks. He seems very personally affected by all this. Mr Parkin has had the opportunity to answer the allegations openly, in his own name. He has not done so. Until now, he has enjoyed the favour and protection of the leader of the council. What will happen when he no longer enjoys such favour? When he is made to answer these allegations? Let's see how stoical the bullies are when they get their just desserts. I wouldn't be surprised to see them running off to the employment tribunal crying like babies. Bullies are cowards after all. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

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        • Stranger

          17:05, 03 November 2017

          Gossip-monger, thank you for demonstrating your true calibre. Under no circumstances should anyone take your absurd conspiracy theories seriously. Janik is a known character about town, and usually has good insights to share, but he's overstepped the mark and unbalanced himself in his hatred and obsession concerning Mr Parkin. As for you, there is no depths to which you will not stoop. "The Stranger doth protest too much, methinks. He seems very personally affected by all this". I have no connection with the Council nor with any of the individuals mentions, but you're free to think so. Your kind are best left alone, throwing dirt around that only winds up hitting yourself in the face. It's hilarious that you think the council exonerating Parkin from the allegations made by Hussain is unsatisfactory, but that Parkin commenting in a comments section or maybe on Facebook might satisfy. Also, that you have faith in the due process of the council except when it doesn't suit you. At that point, everyone who disagrees with you is your enemy. Most amusing of all is your reference to cowardice. Where is your bravery? Building up files full of rumour and idle talk? What's your weapon? Wasting police time? Just guessing... Truth is, you have no influence and no effect in the real world, and the reason your enemies won't respond is because an elephant doesn't stop to crush a cockroach. Enjoy your nasty habit of giving false witness while it lasts. Affects nobody

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        • Paul Janik

          00:12, 04 November 2017

          (1) I have no "hatred and obsession concerning Mr Parkin". Never had, so stop inventing lies. (2) Having seen Mr Parkin in action, I have no doubts that he is useless as a council director and he is a disaster as chief executive. (3) Stranger is a woman employee of Slough Unitary Authority, the same person who composed Mr Munawar's press statement about his Labour Party membership suspension. (4) Reading Sophie Wright's comments here. there is no evidence supporting Stranger's false assertions. (5) I would like both a public enquiry and a police investigation into the goings-on at Slough Council.

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        • Sophie Wright

          23:11, 03 November 2017

          You are a bitter pill Stranger.

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  • Stranger

    22:10, 02 November 2017

    The hyenas are showing their true colours. Guilty until proven innocent, and trial by media. The braying mob - the witch-hunt - at the door. You won't see people of character or integrity move an inch in response to slanderous falsehoods spread at no cost to them except at the touch of a key on a keyboard. The article mentions only a few alleged swear-words, but that doesn't stop shameless opportunists from sexing up the comments section with more accusation and rumour. I can only imagine what comes next. Does this guy have the 'devil' in him? Does he need to be exorcised? I suppose we only need to refer to that cabal of 'never weres' on a notorious councillor's website, to hear the next tall story elicited from a ne'er-do-well trying out for a massive employment tribunal payout on the strength of rumour and innuendo...

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  • Bruce Peppy

    22:10, 02 November 2017

    Its quite obvious that the neighbouring Borough are a sham and how embarrassing that they have such an obvious degenerate of a CEO. Have you not see what's happened in the UK Parliament today, its a shame that our local MP doesn't extend her arm to deal with your appalling Local authority too "Stranger". Maybe you're next on the list! I find it shocking that anyone can defend this behaviour and criticise those that speak out.... have you not seen #metoo ?

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