Below is a picture of what a mayoral candidate having lunch with senior ex-council officers looks like:
The picture above:
- Back faced – Cllr Rabina Khan – mayoral candidate for the People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets aka PATH
- Bald gentleman – Andy Bamber – Service Head for Youth Services and Community Safety (Andy was managed by Stephen Halsey)
- Wearing a Black top – Stephen Halsey – Director for communities and culture/Head of paid services/CEO
- Final Seat with a picture inputted manually – Aman Dalvi – Director for Housing , Planning and Development/Acting CEO (it is understood that Aman left the meeting by the time this picture was taken, hence a picture being added to illustrate what it would have looked like).
These men were once powerful Council officers, who were employees at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. They were appointed to their positions during Lutfur Rahman’s administration. An administration and group Cllr Rabina Khan has now left.
Aman Dalvi was the Director for Housing , Planning and Development for Tower Hamlets Council. Appointed by Lutfur Rahman when Lutfur was council leader during 2008/2009. In 2012 when Kevin Collins left as Tower Hamlets Council’s Chief Executive; Aman Dalvi was then appointed as Chief Executive by Lutfur Rahman who was mayor at the time. Thereafter, during a recruitment process for a permanent role, external recruitment consultants put forward Aman Dalvi as the only credible candidate to the Labour majority recruitment panel of the council. Unfortunately, the Labour majority recruitment panel refused to appoint Aman Dalvi as the permanent Chief Executive for Tower Hamlets Council. Cllr Joshua Peck was then the leader of the Labour group. Peck apparently instructed members of the Labour group (and in effect Labour majority members), to vote against the appointment of Aman Dalvi as Chief Exec. It had also been mentioned that Joshua Peck wrote to Aman Dalvi over the same period, setting out why he can’t support Dalvi’s appointment as Chief Exec for the council. Aman Dalvi was of the view that Joshua Peck and the Labour group had prearranged not to appoint him. Aman felt that this was because of his ethnicity, despite the fact that he was put forward as the only candidate by independent external consultants.
Aman Dalvi took legal action against the council citing Joshua Peck and LBTH as defendants. The council was advised by a QC senior Barrister to settle matters without going to an Employment Tribunal. It is understood that the council paid Aman Dalvi a sum of £100,000 in a full and as a final settlement of the race and discrimination claim. Under mayor John Biggs, Aman Dalvi took early retirement. Whether he was pushed out or not, is to be decided by the people.
Aman Dalvi was also responsible for planning when he was with the council. He had direct dealings with developers in the borough and across London. One of those developers in the borough are the Canary Wharf Group (CWG). When he left the council Aman was appointed as a consultant by the same CWG, to now advise them on planning and development etc. You can imagine his transition from the council to working with CWG (perhaps advising them on previous council related matters) will be for eye watering fees.
Stephen Halsey was the Corporate Director for Communities, Localities and Culture. Under him was the Youth Service. Stephen was the Head of Paid Services when Aman Dalvi wasn’t appointed as the permanent Chief Executive. Subsequently the position of Chief Exec was abolished under Lutfur Rahman. Under mayor John Biggs, Stephen too took an early retirement. Whether he was pushed out or not, is to be decided by the people.
Andy Bamber was the Service Head for Safer Communities, which over looked the youth service whilst under the directorate of Communties, Localities and Culture (CLC). Andy was directly line managed by the corporate director for CLC, Stephen Halsey. A role Andy Bamber played was the day to day management of the youth services. Mayor John Biggs and the Labour group made serious allegations against the youth service. Andy took an early retirement or resigned under mayor John Biggs’ administration.
There have been raised eyebrows in relation to Cllr Rabina Khan’s cosy relationships with developers & consultants. Questions that need to be raised are:
- Why was Cllr Rabina Khan meeting with ex senior council officers like Aman Dalvi, Stephen Halsey and Andy Bamber?
- What was the content and outcome of their meeting?
- Could it be in relation to planning matters?
Would it be paranoia to suggest Rabina separated herself from Lutfur Rahman’s group (now known as Aspire), to exploit her former role as Lead Member for Housing, planning and development?
If anyone has anything further to add then please let me know via the comments section.