Almost half of Brent councillors are yet to complete mandatory training on either unconscious bias or data protection.
A report presented to Brent Council’s audit and standards advisory committee on Tuesday (May 11) showed 29 councillors still had work outstanding on these two issues.
Some 21 representatives still have to take the course on unconscious bias training, which was made mandatory after originally being put forward as a voluntary option.
The remaining 42 members of the council took part in the initial virtual session in September – council officers noted Covid-19 restrictions had prevented a second date from being scheduled and it is anticipated this will take place “in the latter part of 2021”.
Of the 21 councillors still to complete the unconscious bias training, nine have also yet to finish the general data protection regulation (GDPR) module.
Councillors Abdirazak Abdi (Ind, Kilburn), Mary Daly (Lab, Sudbury), Arshad Mahmood (Lab, Dollis Hill), Faduma Hassan (Lab, Kilburn), Roxanne Mashari (Lab, Welsh Harp), and Lloyd McLeish (Lab, Harlesden) are yet to start the course, while councillors Claudia Hector (Lab, Kensal Green) and Kana Naheerathan (Lab, Queensbury) are midway through.
Cllr Rameshchandra Patel also has to complete both classes but “has been, and presently is, exempt from attending member training”.
A further eight councillors have work outstanding on GDPR – according to the report, a deadline on when this must be completed is yet to be imposed.
Earlier this year, council officers explained attendance at training sessions had generally increased during the pandemic.
They found 30 to 40 people were regularly going to non-compulsory sessions whereas, prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, “around 20 to 30” would take part.