Not all community groups are born equal. Part 1

Not all community groups are born equal. Part 1

In early 2016, two local groups attempted to join the Westway Trust as member groups.
Bbalance and the Grenfell Action Group both submitted applications ahead of the stated cut-off date.

Both received a similarly worded email from then Finance Director (Now Joint Chief Executive on £90k pa), Mark Lockhart, rebuffing their applications and blaming the timing of the applications, despite there being enough time for them to have been submitted to the board of Trustees.

In addition, it was strongly suggested by Mark Lockhart to the Grenfell Action Group that the content of their vital blog was likely to prevent them from joining.

A long exchange took place between Bbalance and Mark Lockhart that lasted until the end of 2016. It included Mark Lockhart ignoring emails, missing requested information, making professionally inappropriate remarks and all the while making it apparent that Member Organisation status was very unlikely. He finally stated that he wasn't satisfied by the consitution of the group, despite it being a model constitution that has gained funding from a variety of well known funders.

The entire process was opaque and at points seemingly made up on the spot by Mark Lockhart himself to prevent certain groups from joining the Westway Trust. As he stated in one email, it is a constitutional matter (read: an existential threat to the Trust) and therefore he dealt with it personally. It was accepted by him that the public call for groups to become Member Organisations was disconnected from the actual process.

Neither group ever managed to become a Member Organisation. The impression was that the Member Organisation process is one guarded personally by Mark Lockhart, a man who has been at the Trust since the 1990's and will have overseen the financial goings on throughout that time.
He is the man who in the words of one unnamed employee "is the connection between Roger Maitland and Angela McConville".

With recent and much-needed inquiries, reviews, reports and audits into the activities of Notting Hill Carnival, Kensington & Chelsea College (with genuinely shocking outcome) and the KCTMO, not to mention the long fought for inquiry into Institutional Racism at the Trust, is it not time for a MAJOR INDEPENDENT INQUIRY AND AUDIT into the actions of this £6-8million organisation that has cut violently through our community in so many ways?

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