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The Co op debacle


Just tick the right diversity boxes and hey presto, you can run a major bank, local council or just about anything else

lbwf Co op wfcw Top gay police officer arrested on suspicion of supplying Class A drugs collapses on his way to court
17 July 2015
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The 2012 annual report for The Co-Operative Group states that Paul Flowers was also Chairman of the Group's Remuneration and Appointments Committee - sounds like he led the committee that appointed him as Bank Chairman and then set the salary for the job [1]
 
COOP equality
Top COOP
wfcwThe Co-op Bank puts itself up for sale
13 February 2017
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The bank, 20% owned by the Co-operative Group, almost collapsed in 2013, and was bailed out by US hedge funds.
The bank has four million customers and is well known for its ethical standpoint, which it says makes it "a strong franchise with significant potential" when it comes to a sale. It has not been able to strengthen its finances because of low interest rates.
A spokesman for the Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority said it welcomed the action announced today by the Co-operative Bank.
The Co-operative Bank merged with the Britannia building society in 2009. The deal was later held responsible for the near collapse of the bank.
In 2013, the bank revealed a £1.5bn black hole in its accounts, which led to its rescue. Bank chairman Paul Flowers also stepped down over concerns about expenses in 2013, before pleading guilty to drug possession the following year.
And in January 2016 the Bank of England banned two former Co-operative Bank executives - former chief executive Barry Tootell and former managing director Keith Alderson - from holding senior banking positions.
wfcwCo-op Bank fails Bank of England stress tests
16 December 2014
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The Co-operative Bank has failed a "stress test" carried out by the Bank of England to assess major UK lenders' ability to withstand another financial crisis.
wfcw9 April 2014 - The Co-op's  supermarkets, pharmacies and funerals business needs to change its model to survive. Many criticise a byzantine governance structure which critics say rewards longevity, skill at internal politics and willingness to attend endless committee meetings, above managerial skills.

wfcwDisgraced former Co-op Bank chairman Paul Flowers has spoken for the first time since his arrest over drugs allegations.
25 March 2014

nutshellFormer Co-op Bank chief Paul Flowers says 'I have sinned'
25 March 2014
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The Methodist minister, who stepped down from the bank last summer, told BBC Newsnight some of his "frailties" had been exposed in the public domain.
He was arrested last November after the Mail on Sunday published footage showing him allegedly buying drugs.
Mr Flowers, 63, said the last few months had at times been "hellish".
In a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with Newsnight, he also revealed how the government had put pressure on the Co-op Bank before it aborted plans to buy 600 Lloyds branches.
He said ministers had made it clear they wanted the deal - which exposed for the first time the Co-op Bank's poor financial health - to go ahead.
'Cathartic and traumatic'
Mr Flowers, who has been a minister in Bradford since 1976, said "things got pretty hairy" for him last November when he was arrested as part of what police called a "drugs supply investigation" following the newspaper allegations. He is currently on bail.
At the time he was also facing questions about his suitability to have led the Co-op Bank, after he had appeared before a committee of MPs and told them the bank's assets were £3bn when they were actually £47bn.
"I am in company with every other human being for having my frailties and some fragility exposed," he said.
"Most people get through life without that ever coming into the public domain. But, of course I have sinned in that old-fashioned term, which I would rarely use, I have to say."
He added: "Up to [November] there hadn't been much commentary about things we were doing at the bank, but it got worse after that.
"And for me personally there have been several moments where it has been hellish.
"You certainly find out who your friends are because a significant number of people in politics and in the Co-op, and some in the Church, have been noticeable by their silence or their absence."
Addictions treatment
After his arrest at his home in Merseyside, he said he had sought "professional support for the issues that I was facing" and underwent a 28-day addictions treatment programme, which he found both "cathartic and traumatic".
Of his appearance before MPs, he said he had been ill-prepared for the experience and was also put off by some MPs trying to "trip me up" with their questioning and score political points.
He defended his appointment as the Co-op Bank's chairman, saying: "Others made a judgement that I was the right and appropriate person to be the chair at that particular time. And it went through a very rigorous process of selection."
When asked if he had been involved with drugs while chairman of the Co-op Bank, Mr Flowers replied: "I think you're aware that there are still some issues to be enquired into by the police and that is a question that I think has to remain at the moment unanswered."
He denied any involvement with drugs before he became chairman, but added: "That doesn't answer the earlier question. And I cannot answer it for the moment."
Mr Flowers, who is a former Labour councillor in Bradford and Rochdale, was chairman of the Co-op Bank from April 2010 to June 2013.
Financial troubles
The bank had to be rescued last year after it was left with a £1.5bn capital shortfall, with many of its troubles stemming from its merger with the Britannia building society in 2009.
Its poor financial health was first discovered in 2012, when it was trying to acquire more than 600 branches from Lloyds in a process known as Project Verde.
The Co-op Bank was a frontrunner to buy the branches but later withdrew its offer.
Mr Flowers said he had come under "considerable" pressure to make that deal happen "from the present government - and mainly from Conservatives".
He said: "They wanted a deal and remember that the government was - still is - the major shareholder of that bank because of the structural support it had needed in 2008.
"Clearly they wanted a deal which would help them in terms of public finances. They actually said that they were keen on Co-op becoming a much more significant player, with more scale.
"We would have had about 7-8% of the market if this had gone through. And there was pressure certainly from [junior minister] Mark Hoban, but I believe, and know, that that originated much higher up, with the chancellor himself."
New shares
A Treasury spokesman said: "The selection of the Co-op and the decision on whether to proceed with the Verde deal was a purely commercial matter for Lloyds Bank and the Co-op Bank, as the chairman and chief executive of Lloyds have consistently made clear.
"Since the full extent of the situation at Co-op Bank became clear, the chancellor has ordered an independent investigation into the events at the Co-op Bank and the circumstances surrounding them."
Last November, the Co-op announced that a group of private investors, made up mostly of hedge funds, would inject nearly £1bn into the bank for a 70% ownership stake.
On Monday, the bank said it planned to raise another £400m by issuing new shares following the discovery of additional costs, the biggest part of which relates to PPI mis-selling and lapses in the provision of mortgages.
The bank said the discovery meant it would make a loss of £1.2bn to £1.3bn for 2013.

Paul Flowers
  • 1976: Starts as Methodist minister in Bradford
  • 1988-92: Labour councillor on Rochdale Council
  • 2002-11: Labour councillor on Bradford Council
  • 2009: Joins board of Co-op Bank and Co-op Group
  • 2010: Appointed chairman of Co-op Bank and deputy chairman of Co-op Group in April. Appointed by Labour leader Ed Miliband to the party's finance and industry board
  • 2013: Steps down as chairman of Co-op Bank and as deputy chairman of Co-op Group in June
  • 6 November: Appears before MPs on Treasury Select Committee
  • 17 November: Mail on Sunday publishes footage showing Mr Flowers allegedly buying illegal drugs. He apologises and says he is seeking help
  • 18 November: Suspended by Labour and his Bradford church
  • 19 November: Co-op Group chairman Len Wardle resigns amid the scandal
  • 22 November: Mr Flowers arrested in Merseyside in connection with a "drugs supply investigation" and bailed
  • 14 January 2014: Mr Flowers is bailed again as inquiries continue

Sources: Bradford Council, Rochdale Council, Co-op Bank, Co-op Group

 


 
lord myners Lord Myners: What I think I have exposed is that the Co-op is not a democratic organisation and has a deeply flawed governance structure. If it doesn't address these issues the pace of decline will simply increase.
The organisation had "the worst governance I have ever witnessed" and "shocking" levels of debt, some of which was hidden by complex property deals, he said.
Myners said his proposals would make the group more democratic by involving its currently- ignored wider membership while making sure people with business experience were in charge of commercial decisions.
Directors would be elected and reelected each year by all members, overhauling the current system which puts power in the hands of a few hundred activists.
nutshellThe Co-op's reputation as a business run democratically by its members was a myth.
14 March 2014
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Lord Myners, Co-op's independent director says the group has been undermined by 'reckless' dealmaking and 'shocking' debt
He said management standards at the Co-op were worse than at banks before the credit crunch. Photograph: Gary Calton for the Guardian
The shambolic state of the Co-operative Group was laid bare in a scathing verdict warning that the survival of Britain's biggest mutual organisation was at stake.
The Co-op has been undermined by "reckless" dealmaking, "shocking" levels of debt and governance standards far worse than even the banks before the credit crunch, according to Lord Myners, the group's senior independent director who was charged with overhauling the boardroom.
In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, the City grandee who was installed as a Labour minister at the height of the credit crisis said: "I have observed the bad governance of the banks, but this is on an altogether worse level.
"The rate of deterioration has increased over the last half dozen years because of the recklessness of the strategy being pursued and supported by the board."
He added that the entire retail, funeral home, pharmacy and farming conglomerate would deteriorate further unless it was radically reformed.
Myners, also an ex-chairman of Marks & Spencer and Guardian Media Group, said the Co-op's reputation as a business run democratically by its members was a myth.
He said the company's most senior managers were left to waste billions of pounds on disastrous corporate transactions because the directors drawn from the Co-op movement were not qualified to keep them in check. "Few of them have any serious business experience and many are drawing material financial benefits from their positions."
Myners said the Co-op's elected directors – who include a plasterer, lecturer, tax official, nurse and farmer – had overseen "breathtakingly value-destructive" deals, including the takeover of the Somerfield supermarket chain and the Britannia building society.
It was the Britannia deal that left the Co-op bank facing a £1.5bn financial black hole and resulted in the bank being taken over by US hedge funds.
Myners, called in to review the group's governance in December, proposed far-reaching changes that he said would ensure it could stay true to the Co-op's democratic ideals and still be run on commercial lines.
In a report rushed out – just days after the group's chief executive, Euan Sutherland, quit and branded the organisation "ungovernable" – Myners concluded that:
• The group's "massive failure of governance" had "gravely damaged the organisation", letting its business decay and leaving it financially weak.
• Its members, who supposedly own the business, have almost no say in what the board or managers decide.
• Unless the governance is reformed "it will run out of capital to support its business".
Myners said it was a tragedy that Sutherland had quit because the Co-op owed its survival through last year's bank crisis to him and his team. He said what he had uncovered at the Co-op was so serious that the group had no choice but to change.
"What I think I have exposed is that the Co-op is not a democratic organisation and has a deeply flawed governance structure, and if it doesn't address these issues the pace of decline will simply increase. The reality is that the Co-op has been in decline for 60 years."
The organisation had "the worst governance I have ever witnessed" and "shocking" levels of debt, some of which was hidden by complex property deals, he said. The group currently has debts of £1.2bn. "This is folly in the extreme. This really pains me."
He said that the group, led by £1.2m-a-year chief executive Peter Marks until last year, had been obsessed with making large acquisitions instead of competing in the cut-throat world of grocery retailing, which is its main business.
The crisis at the Co-op came to a head last week when Sutherland resigned, after just 10 months, when the Observer revealed his £3.6m pay package. Sutherland said that senior colleagues were determined to undermine him and he blamed them for a series of damaging leaks. Myners claimed Sutherland never intended to take the £2m of bonuses awarded on top of his £1.5m salary. The money was agreed before Myners became involved and, he said, should have been revealed earlier.
Britain's biggest mutual company was plunged into chaos last May when a £1.5bn financial hole was revealed at its banking arm. The capital shortage had forced the Co-op to abandon its bid for more than 600 Lloyds bank branches and has led to US hedge funds owning most of the bank.
The problems deepened in November when the bank's former chairman, Paul Flowers, was alleged to have bought class A drugs and used rent boys.
Myners said the Co-op had lost almost all the customers it picked up when it bought Somerfield in 2008 for £1.6bn. He said taking over the Britannia had almost bankrupted the Co-op bank and the attempted Lloyds deal, codenamed Project Verde, was misconceived: "Somerfield was reckless. Britannia was reckless. Verde was reckless."
Myners said he had worked four days a week for three months examining the group's "labyrinthine" structures and coming up with proposals. He will be paid £1 for his efforts.
The Flowers affair triggered a string of inquiries into the turmoil at the group, whose ethics and democratic structure had been lauded as an alternative to the big bonuses and ruthless business practices of City-controlled companies.
Myners said his proposals would make the group more democratic by involving its currently- ignored wider membership while making sure people with business experience were in charge of commercial decisions.
He faces opposition from within the group's senior ranks who accused Sutherland of trying to scrap the values established by the Rochdale pioneers who founded the group in 1844. But Myners argued even his most entrenched opponents now realised the status quo could not stand.
Myners said the group's directors had been paid hundreds of thousands of pounds in the last few years as the group was driven close to ruin.
"It depresses me. It's a controlled anger," he said.
He rejected claims he had alienated board members with his uncompromising verdict on their abilities and the Co-op's record.
He called for the replacement of the group's 20-strong elected board with a smaller board of six or seven non-executive directors with business experience and two executives from the group.
Members would be represented on a new National Membership Council to hold the board to the group's values and principles. Directors would be elected and reelected each year by all members, overhauling the current system which puts power in the hands of a few hundred activists.

 
co opCo-op to report worst results in history
26 February 2014
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The Co-op Group's losses for 2013 are expected to be greater than £2bn, by far the worst in its history, when they are announced on 26 March.
I also understand that as the first stage in trying to revitalise the group as a whole, its chief executive, Euan Sutherland, will tell members of the Co-op's regional boards on Saturday that its substantial farming operation, which includes 15 farms, will be sold.
He will also reveal that Co-op is actively considering the sale of its 750 pharmacies, which generated revenues of £764m in 2012. "They are likely to be sold, but a formal decision hasn't yet been made," said a source.
 
FlowersYet again, one particular question has formed on lips up and down the land. How in heaven’s name could so many people have failed to spot such a spectacular abuse of a public position? And so you are invulnerable. As long as you tick all the right ‘progressive’ boxes, you can get away with anything until someone comes along with a secret camera. And so we got the Revd Paul Flowers, Britain’s first crystal Methodist.
NutshellThe scandal is that no one spotted that he was spectacularly unsuited to the jobs he was given
Spectator23 November 2013

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Yet again, one particular question has formed on lips up and down the land. How in heaven’s name could so many people have failed to spot such a spectacular abuse of a public position?

We heard it first in the Jimmy Savile scandal, when the posthumous discovery of half a century of predation left people incredulous that so many had known about but done nothing to stop his serial depravities. Now a similar question needs to be asked about the Revd Paul Flowers, the disgraced Methodist minister and former chairman of the Co-op Bank who was filmed apparently handing over £300 to buy a stash of cocaine and crystal meth and also boasted of using ketamine, cannabis and a club drug, GHB.

The real scandal, though, is not just that he was a staggeringly incompetent bank chief who knew next to nothing about banking and presided over a bank that somehow fell into a £1.5 billion black hole. It is not even his predilection for cocaine, crystal meth and the occasional ‘two-day, drug-fuelled gay orgy’ (to use his words). The scandal is that no one spotted that he was spectacularly unsuited to the jobs he was given — or if they did, they chose to do nothing about it. Yet again, a public figure with his ethics pinned to his sleeve somehow existed beyond proper scrutiny.

In the frame alongside the deeply un-fragrant Flowers are various institutions which now have questions to answer. The Co-op Bank, which elected him chairman. The Labour party, which banked his donations. Ed Miliband, who dined with him and appointed him to Labour’s financial and industrial advisory board. And the Methodist Church, which appointed him a ‘superintendent’ minister and designated him a trustee for its investment funds and property — even though he had next to no expertise in business.

Oh — and he has also been a member of the Advertising Standards Authority, vice-chairman of the National Association of Citizens’ Advice Bureaux and chairman of Manchester Camerata, the city’s chamber orchestra, not to mention chairman of the drug abuse charity Lifeline and the Terrence Higgins Trust. He is an icon of our time.

So how come none of these bodies ever spotted his spectacular unsuitability to be a member of the Great and the Good?

His striking unfitness to advise anyone on economic matters was demonstrated at the Treasury select committee earlier this month. Asked to state the Co-op Bank’s total assets, he guessed £3 billion; it was actually £47 billion. His performance may well have caused onlookers to scratch their heads and ask themselves: just what exotic substances is he on?

It turns out that he was indeed on drugs, even if not on that precise occasion. But it has become increasingly clear that the rise of the Revd Paul Flowers was not due to any banking expertise — which comprised a mere four years’ employment at NatWest, which he had joined at the tender age of 19.

No, his rise was due to his political connections. He was appointed chairman by the Co-op Bank’s Remuneration and Appointments Committee, which is composed largely of former Labour politicians and Co-op veterans. Jobs for the boys, in other words — or, as Flowers put it, the Co-op ‘had a practice of appointing a democrat from within its own numbers as the chair of that board’. From which we may infer that fitness for office was a synonym for mutual political back-scratching.

Indeed the Co-op Group, of which Flowers was a director, has underwritten the Labour party by some £34 million over the past two decades. The last £1.2 million loan was agreed in April, a month after Miliband met Flowers in the Commons. Even now, about 30 Labour MPs describe themselves as ‘Labour and Co-operative’ — including Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor.

The Co-op was hymned by Eds Miliband and Balls for its qualities of stewardship and responsibility, and proclaimed an ‘ethical’ bank — as opposed to all those other supposedly predatory casino banks. This seemed to give rise to the belief that the sole criteria for management was being holier-than-thou about money. But piety is no substitute for financial competence — as was demonstrated during the Co-op’s calamitous acquisition of the Britannia Building Society.

We knew that deal was a disaster which was to force the Co-op to seek a bailout. What we did not know, until Flowers admitted it to the Treasury select committee this month, was that the bank was egged on to do the deal by Ed Balls when he was part of Gordon Brown’s government, and that he was ‘very supportive of the whole process’. That support turned out to be mutual: Flowers later oversaw a £50,000 donation of Co-op Group money to Balls’s private office in March last year. ‘We believe in supporting political friends,’ he said later.

It’s amazing how far such friendships can take you in certain circles. The Labour party stayed friendly with Flowers even after his abrupt departure from Bradford Council (‘inappropriate but not illegal adult content’ had been found on his computer). Friendships seem to have elevated the laughably unqualified Flowers to the chairmanship of the Co-op Bank. The Financial Services Authority was supposed to watch out for all this mutual back-scratching — but instead it joined in. Graeme Hardie, one of the FSA’s ‘grey panthers’ who assessed Flowers’s fitness to chair the Co-op Bank, went on become a director at that bank.

The full extent of this seems to be beginning to dawn even on the Co-operative Group. Len Wardle, its chairman who oversaw Flowers’s recruitment, this week apologised and resigned — recognising the true nature of the scandal which, he said, ‘raised a number of serious questions for both the bank and the group’.

Now, surely, we are getting closer to the deeper reason why Flowers got away with it.  If people knew or suspected his inadequacies when promoting him, they didn’t care because he ticked all the right boxes of what has become the Unchallengeable Consensus of Virtue — even one that turns out to be rotten to the core. Competence and rigour come a poor second to being mates in a cosy cartel devoted to the cause. It’s all about striking an attitude which proclaims your goodness through a series of fashionable shibboleths. This makes you all but invulnerable, because anyone who challenges that attitude is inescapably portrayed as wicked, stupid or bonkers.

An article written by Flowers about the Co-op, entitled ‘Capturing the Ethical Opportunity’, read as if he had simply ticked off every such shibboleth he could think of. The Co-op ran ‘the UK’s most radical ethical operating plan’. Tick! It was against ‘ corporate greed and speculation’, promoting instead ‘sustainability’ based on an ‘inclusive and socially responsible approach to business’. Tick! Tick! ‘Green Schools’! ‘Healthy food’! ‘Fairtrade’! Tick! Tick! Tick! Thus Flowers created his own mythology, modestly describing himself on the Methodist Church’s website as ‘known for an objective rigour and for asking the questions others might avoid’.

So what about all those drugs and orgies? The behaviour which even his former rent boy described as ‘debauched’? How could a man with such predilections have got away with being a Methodist minister for 40 years? Flowers claims the pressures of his Co-op role and a family bereavement drove him to do things that were ‘stupid and wrong’. But it emerges that, back in 1981, he was fined for committing an act of gross indecency in a public toilet. The Methodist Church decided he could continue as a minister because he was ‘very contrite’.

In other words, it’s not that no one knew what he was up to. Some did indeed know — but chose to ignore it. That’s why a Labour MP who passed Flowers in the corridor apparently joked, ‘Have you got a touch of the old Colombian flu?’ It would seem that his drug-taking was a laughing matter amongst his ‘friends’. As for the Lifeline drugs charity he chaired, this takes such a liberal position that its literature effectively normalises drug use through manuals on how to use drugs ‘safely’.

And now people are shocked that the former chairman of Lifeline turns out to be a rampant drug abuser. Then the Methodists get all judgmental and suspend him for three weeks. Tough, huh? Especially when you consider what they say on their website about drug abusers, that ‘judgmental attitudes are wholly inappropriate’. Even the Methodists are in hock to liberal pieties.

Incompetence, recklessness, irresponsibility, criminality, decadence — these are all faults found in others, never in you and your cronies. Because you are inclusive, diverse, green, ethical, compassionate, progressive, devoted to equality and above all non-judgmental — except of course when it comes to the Tories, or anyone who wants to enforce the law against illegal drugs.

And so you are invulnerable. As long as you tick all the right ‘progressive’ boxes, you can get away with anything until someone comes along with a secret camera. And so we got the Revd Paul Flowers, Britain’s first crystal Methodist.


 
Rev FlowersRev Flowers maintained a high profile, sitting on committees and getting himself involved in community projects. He rose through the Co-op’s ranks, joining the board of the Co-op Group in 2008 and becoming deputy chairman. In 2009 the post of chairman of Co-operative Banking group became vacant. Choosing the candidate fell to the 13-strong Remuneration and Appointments Committee, which is formed largely of former Labour politicians and Co-operative movement veterans. It traditionally selected directors from the board of the Co-operative Group. On that board of about 20 people, you would be unlikely to find any high-flying bankers.
NutshellHow DID preacher Paul Flowers ever become chairman of the Co-op bank?
18 November 2013
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Ordinarily, the Rev Paul Flowers would have presided over the 10.30am service yesterday at Wibsey Methodist Church. The gathering at the modern pebble-dashed church outside Bradford, West Yorkshire, lasts an hour and is followed by tea and biscuits. But having been caught buying and using illegal drugs including crystal meth, crack cocaine and ketamine, it would hardly have seemed appropriate to take the pulpit.
He bragged of getting 'wasted' following his grilling by MPs over the near-collapse of the bank, which threatens the retirement income of thousands of pensioners. The Methodist Church appears to agree – Flowers has been suspended from his duties for three weeks.
He has been one of its ministers for 40 years. Laudable, you might say. But does being in such a post really make one a suitable candidate to become chairman of the Co-operative Bank?
Was there something else in Flowers’s CV that qualified him for this most demanding of positions? Well, to be fair, the openly gay Flowers did work for NatWest for four years, in the late 60s. The position he held is not clear, but given the fact that he was 19 at the time and became a Methodist minister at the end of his tenure suggests the post was not a senior one.
At a meeting of the Treasury Select Committee earlier this month, when asked to explain how he was qualified to run the bank following its £700million loss he replied: ‘I took the exam of the Institute of Bankers. ‘I completed part one and the best part of part two of those exams before I became a Methodist minister. ‘I would judge that experience is out of date in terms of the needs of contemporary banking.’
Who would argue with that? Especially given his somewhat shaky grasp of figures. He told the committee that the Co-op’s balance sheet had £3billion of assets, when the answer was in fact £47billion. He was also at a loss to answer questions about the amount of loans on its books.
Perhaps there is some other evidence of financial wizardry, then, in his background? Yesterday the Mail searched long and hard, but could find nothing.
Paul Flowers was born in Portsmouth to parents Muriel and Charles but has lived in the North for many years. His father died in 1993 aged 70, and he had a brother, Ian, who died the same year aged just 39. He lives in a modest house in Bradford and shared it with his mother until her death last year aged 85. Mr Flowers lives in a modest house in Bradford and shared it with his mother until her death last year aged 85.
After that brief stint with the NatWest, he became a minister with the Methodist Church, for whom he now sits as a trustee on the body that manages its invested funds and property.
Twenty or so years ago, Flowers came to attention as vice-chairman of Rochdale Council’s social services committee during the ‘satanic abuse’ fiasco between 1988 and 1991. It involved social workers making lurid claims about satanic rituals being performed on children and, as a result, 20 children from six families were placed in care. However, the police found no evidence and a government-backed inquiry subsequently blamed ‘evangelical Christians’ for the scare.
Flowers maintained a high profile, sitting on committees and getting himself involved in community projects. Ironically, given recent events, from 1992 to 2004 he was prominently involved with the Lifeline Project, which helps drug abusers. Today he remains a trustee of the Terrence Higgins Trust, the HIV/Aids charity.
Speaking about his involvement with the charity, he once said: ‘As an out gay man for all of my adult life I am acutely aware of the issues surrounding HIV. ‘Like many others I have been personally affected by it in ways which are often far too painful to recount.’
Flowers was a councillor at Bradford City Council for ten years but does not appear to have been universally popular. One former councillor told the Mail yesterday: ‘Flowers was an insufferable and pompous man who threw his not inconsiderable weight around.
'He always made it plain he was the most educated person in a room and everyone else was a peasant.’ In 2010 – more irony – he was appointed by Labour leader Ed Miliband to the party’s finance and industry board.
None of this goes any way to explain just how Flowers became chairman of the proudly ethical Co-operative Bank. But it seems the system by which the appointment was made goes some way to solving the mystery.
Flowers rose through the Co-op’s ranks, joining the board of the Co-op Group in 2008 and becoming deputy chairman. In 2009 the post of chairman of Co-operative Banking group became vacant. Choosing the candidate fell to the 13-strong Remuneration and Appointments Committee, which is formed largely of former Labour politicians and Co-operative movement veterans.
It traditionally selected directors from the board of the Co-operative Group. On that board of about 20 people, you would be unlikely to find any high-flying bankers. Or anyone, it seems, remotely up to the job of running a bank. The school leaver who worked at NatWest 40 years previously was the best they could find.

 
World Pride Power List 2013World Pride Power List 2013
100 most influential LGBT people of the year. The LGBT community represents the full range of public profiles. Read on to see who made it into the World Pride Power List 2013
Paul Flowers, CEO Co-op, 64th in the list.
NutshellWorld Pride Power List 2013, 11-100
Rev FlowersWorld Pride Power List 2013: (11-100)
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11 Peter Tatchell, campaigner

A lifelong LGBT activist and agitator for equal rights, Australian-born Peter Tatchell twice tried a citizen's arrest on Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe and was beaten up for his efforts. He received similar treatment from neo-Nazis when supporting the Gay Pride march in Moscow. He has stood as a candidate for the Labour and Green parties, and is the author of more than 3,000 articles and six books.
12 Martina Navratilova, former tennis player
Billie Jean King called her "the greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player that ever lived". But Navratilova is also a shining exception in the world of competitive sport, where many sportsmen and women still feel unable to come out. Since 1981, she's been open about her lesbianism, and has spoken out repeatedly on behalf of LGBT rights.
13 Alan Carr, comedian
Hugely successful chatshow host and award-winning standup comedian.
14 Charlie Condou, actor
Father of two and champion of gay parenting, Condou is best known for his role in Coronation Street as Marcus Dent, ex-lover of Sean Tully, played by Antony Cotton. The programme carried the first soap story of same-sex parenting. Condou's real-life daughter and son divide their time between him and his partner, Cameron, and their mother, actor Catherine Kanter.
15 Michael Cashman, MEP
Recently voted MEP of the year for justice and fundamental rights by his peers, former actor Cashman, a co-founder of Stonewall, is best known for his role as Colin in EastEnders. He registered his civil partnership with Paul Cottingham in 2006 and was awarded a CBE for his equality work.
16 Graham Norton, TV presenter
Norton is an award-winning BBC presenter whose outrageous questioning style has endeared him to audiences.
17 Jane Hill, broadcast journalist
Always open about her sexual orientation, Hill has been a presenter and BBC newsreader for many years. She has worked on many high-profile stories, including the elections of Barack Obama. She has presented the European Diversity Awards since 2011.
18 Heather Peace, actor and singer
A British actor and musician, with roles in Casualty, Holby City, Coronation Street and Lip Service, Peace is a patron of Manchester Pride and the Diversity Role Models charity.
19 Jessie J, singer
Jessie J came out as bisexual in 2011. The singer-songwriter and judge on The  Voice became the first UK female solo artist to achieve six top-10 singles from a single studio album, her debut Who Are You?
20 Sue Perkins, comedian and presenter
Perkins began her career as half of double-act Mel and Sue on Channel 4's daytime show Light Lunch. She has written for French and Saunders and Ab Fab, as well as countless radio series. In 2008, Perkins conducted the BBC's Concert Orchestra in Hyde Park during the Last Night of the Proms, after winning the BBC's Maestro competition.
21 Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, head of diversity and inclusion, Google EMEA
One of the most influential and innovative diversity professionals, he conceived Google's Legalise Love campaign, aimed at countries where homosexuality is illegal. He is a trustee of Kaleidoscope Trust and founder and chairman of the Inclusive Foundation.
22 Elio Di Rupo, PM, Belgium
As well as being an openly gay leader in the European Union, Di Rupo is the first Francophone to hold the post of Belgian prime minister, with predecessors being either of Walloon or Flemish descent. This represents a massive change in the country's history.
23 Anderson Cooper, broadcast journalist
The anchor of CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360° is, according to the New York Times, "the most prominent openly gay journalist on American TV". He came out last year, saying: "I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn't be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud."
24 Mary Portas, retail expert and presenter
Portas is best known for her TV shows in which she helps struggling shops transform their fortunes. Her recent show, Mary Queen of the High Street, began last month on Channel 4. She lives with her children and civil partner, Grazia magazine fashion features editor Melanie Rickey.
25 Jodie Foster, actor
The Oscar-winning actor has two sons with ex-partner Cydney Bernard. She received a lifetime achievement award at this year's Golden Globes, saying of her sexuality: "I already did my coming out ... in those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family and co-workers, and then gradually and proudly to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met." She thanked Bernard, with whom she split in 2008, calling her "my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love but righteous soul sister in life".
26 Anthony Watson, MD and CIO, Barclays
Alongside his demanding job in the City, Watson is chair of the European Diversity Awards, a member of the board of DGS plc and a trustee of the Inclusive Foundation, an LGBT youth charity. Watson is a driving force for diversity and inclusion across the UK and abroad.
27 Sarah Gilbert, actor
Best known for her role as the sarcastic middle child Darlene Connor in the American sitcom Rosanne, Gilbert came out as a lesbian in 2010 and this year announced her engagement to songwriter Linda Perry.
28 Samantha Ronson, DJ
The English-born DJ, who lives in California, has spun her discs at some of the highest-profile events across the globe, including private parties for Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Ellen DeGeneres and Natalie Portman.
29 Laura Doughty, deputy chief exec, Stonewall
Doughty has been instrumental in encouraging more lesbian involvement in Stonewall and was a driving force behind the organisation's hugely successful 2012 London bus marketing campaign, Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!
30 Tom Ford, fashion designer and film director
Feted for his success at Gucci, Ford went on to create his own Tom Ford label and directed the Oscar-nominated film A Single Man. He has a degree in architecture and has been with his partner, Richard Buckley, since 1986.
31 Lee Pearson, Paralympian equestrian
The openly gay equestrian, who was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita – a rare congenital disorder – is a 10-time Paralympic Games gold medallist and represented Britain in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London. Last year, Pearson won gold in the team dressage event, silver in the championship dressage and bronze in the freestyle. He came out to his parents shortly before his 21st birthday.
32 Dr Christian Jessen, celebrity doctor
The huge success of Channel 4's intimate programmes Supersize vs Superskinny and Embarrassing Bodies has catapulted this 36-year-old doctor into the public eye. Alongside his TV shows, Jessen regularly contributes to newspapers and magazines, and has written a couple of books. He specialises in HIV and sexual health, having spent a couple of years working in Kenya and Uganda.
33 Chaz Bono, writer and musician
Bono, child of superstars Sonny and Cher, underwent gender reassignment in 2010 and is now a transgender advocate and campaigner against the US Defense of Marriage Act. The documentary Becoming Chaz followed his reassignment.
34 Chris Bryant, MP
A Labour MP, Bryant is shadow minister for borders and immigration. He and his partner, Jared Cranney, had the first civil partnership ceremony held in the Houses of Parliament.
35 Anna Grodzka, Polish politician
Publisher and film-maker Grodzka is a respected politician and Europe's first known transsexual MP. She underwent gender reassignment in 2010 and is a member of the progressive Palikot's Movement party in Poland.
36 Neil Patrick Harris, actor, director
Best known for his role in Doogie Howser MD, the Emmy-award-winning Harris has also directed a production of Martin Sherman's Rent. Harris lives with his partner, David Burtka, and their two children.
37 Angela Eagle, Labour MP
Shadow leader of the House of Commons, this well-respected Labour politician was the first openly gay woman in parliament when she came out in September 1998 and the first lesbian in a ministerial post.
38 Antony Cotton, actor
Through playing the gay character Sean Tully in Coronation Street and taking a pivotal role in a breakthrough gay-parenting storyline with fellow actor Charlie Condou, Cotton has done much to break down prejudice among the show's massive UK audience.
39 Tim Gill, founder of Quark
The American software entrepreneur and philanthropist is involved in advocacy for LGBT rights through his Gill Action Fund. His charity work concerns itself with ending prejudice and injustice against the gay community. Gill is married to Scott Miller and they live in Denver, Colorado.
40 Liz Sayce, CEO, Disability Rights UK
Sayce is one of the UK's foremost authorities on disability issues. She spent eight years as policy director of the mental health charity Mind and has published many books on mental health, disability and social inclusion.
41 Portia de Rossi, actor
Australian actress De Rossi, who rose to fame as the glamorous lawyer Nelle Porter in Ally McBeal, has just resurrected her role as the vapid blonde Lindsay Bluth Fünke in the American sitcom Arrested Development. The new series of the cult classic launched on Netflix last month.
42 Val McDermid, crime writer
The Scottish crime writer and broadcaster said this year that she wants Kelly Smith, her partner since 2004, to become her wife when gay marriage laws are passed. She formed a civil partnership with Smith two years ago. McDermid shares custody of her son with her former partner.
43 Zachary Quinto, actor and film producer
The actor who played Spock in the 2009 Star Trek and this year's sequel Star Trek Into Darkness has served as a fierce advocate for LGBT rights since coming out in 2011. He also campaigned for Barack Obama's re-election last year.
44 Stella Duffy, writer and performer
Novelist Duffy said in an interview with the Independent last year: "No one ever says 'He's a straight; she's a heterosexual', but I'm constantly being called 'a lesbian' and it's just not the most interesting thing about me." Duffy has been a vocal crusader for gay marriage and formed a civil partnership with the playwright Shelley Silas in 2004.
45 Nikolay Alexeyev, Russian LGBT rights campaigner
Russia is a difficult place to be openly gay and this year a bill is going through parliament banning the "promotion" of homosexuality. Alexeyev is the chief organiser of Moscow Pride, which gets banned in the city year after year. In 2010, he won the first ever case at the European Court of Human Rights on LGBT human rights violations in Russia.
46 Vincent Francois, regional group head of audit, Société Générale
Francois has responsibility for activities spanning 10 countries. In 2010, he created Société Générale's first LGB network in the UK and has helped to revolutionise the diversity credentials at the company, where he sits on the UK diversity committee.
47 Jóhanna Siguroardóttir, PM, Iceland
Siguroardóttir is the world's first lesbian premier. She has two children from a previous marriage, but is now married to her female partner. Her government banned strip clubs and she is quoted as saying: "Nordic countries are leading the way on women's equality, recognising women as equal citizens rather than commodities for sale."
48 Craig Revel Horwood, TV personality
Strictly Come Dancing stalwart Revel Horwood has been a judge on all 10 series of the BBC dance show. He is openly bisexual and, this year, is choreographing a new musical version of the American sitcom Happy Days for a UK tour.
49 Russell Tovey, actor
Known as werewolf George Sands in the BBC supernatural drama Being Human, Tovey also played Steve in Him & Her and is currently in The Job Lot. As an openly gay actor, he said this year he is waiting for the right gay role to come along.
50 Lord John Browne, former CEO BP
Browne was outed by the Mail on Sunday in 2007. He has written about his own sexuality and coming out in general.
51 Ricky Martin, singer
Martin has sold more than 30m albums worldwide. The global superstar and father of twin boys – born via a surrogate mother – came out in 2010.
52 Russell T Davies, screenwriter/producer
Davies's groundbreaking, late-1990s drama, Queer as Folk, dramatised his experiences on the Manchester gay scene.
53 Rylan Clark, TV personality
The Essex singer has remained in the public eye since failing to win The X Factor last year. He is co-host of Big Brother's Bit On The Side.
54 Sue Sanders, LGBT rights activist
Sanders has fought oppression in the public and third sectors for more than 30 years. She implemented LGBT History Month, now in its ninth year.
55 Eileen Gallagher, television producer
Gallagher co-founded Shed Productions in 1998. The company is famous for making Waterloo Road.
56 Maureen Chadwick, screenwriter
Chadwick is co-founder of Shed Productions. She co-created Bad Girls.
57 Liz Bingham, managing partner, Ernst & Young
Bingham started her career straight from school and now she is seeking to put more women and diverse ethnicities in the boardroom. She was recently appointed president of R3 – the industry body for corporate restructuring professionals.
58 Claire Harvey, Paralympian volleyball player
Sportswoman and Team GB's Paralympian volleyball star, Harvey is also involved in the management of the Great Britain deaf women's football team.
59 Marguerite McLaughlin, CEO, Metro Centre
As CEO of leading equality and diversity charity Metro, Marguerite McLaughlin BEM, provides a range of services for the LGBT community and others across the south-east.
60 Maggi Hambling, artist
The creator of the 4m Scallop on Aldeburgh beach, Hambling was the first artist to be given a residency at the National Portrait Gallery.
61 Adam Lambert, singer
The first openly gay pop artist to launch a career on a major label in the US, Lambert has had a meteoric rise since the final of 2009's American Idol.
62 Ben Bradshaw, MP
The gay Labour MP, who is a practising Christian, has criticised the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches for refusing to accept gay marriage.
63 Sophie Ward, actor
Ward became a gay hero in 1997 when she came out as a lesbian, left her husband and began a long-term relationship with writer Rena Brannan.
64 Paul Flowers, CEO Co-op
The Stonewall Workplace Equality index ranked the Co-op as the third-best organisation in the UK for LGBT people to work. Methodist minister Flowers is also a trustee of HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust.
65 Tim Hely Hutchinson, CEO, Hachette
Hutchinson is the younger son of the eighth Earl of Donoughmore and the CEO of the UK's largest publisher.
66 Amy Lamé, performer and writer
Amy Lamé, the woman behind the cult performance collective and club night Duckie, has turned her obsession with Morrissey and the Smiths into her latest one-woman show.
67 Margot James, MP
MP for Stourbridge, James is the first openly lesbian Tory MP in history.
68 Bertrand Delanoë, mayor of Paris
Delanoë was one of the first major French politicians to announce that he was gay, during a 1998 TV interview. ­
69 Jason Collins, NBA player
Basketball player Jason Collins became the first openly gay professional athlete on a major American sports team when he came out in a Sports Illustrated piece this year.
70 Louie Spence, TV personality
Artistic director at Pineapple Dance Studios, Spence is a TV personality, choreographer and producer-director of musical theatre. His autobiography, Still Got It, Never Lost It, was published in 2011.
71 Harish Iyer, LGBT activist
This Indian activist has spoken frankly about his experience of childhood sexual abuse and his life has formed the basis of two films: I Am and Amen.
72 Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, MD UK Black Pride
Founder and managing director of UK Black Pride, Opoku-Gyimah, or Lady Phyll as she is known, campaigns for equality in the workplace through her seat on the TUC race relations committee.
73 Suran Dickson, CEO Diversity Role Models
Dickson quit as a London school teacher in 2011 to set up Diversity Role Models, challenging homophobia by taking positive gay role models into schools.
74 Paul Burston, writer
Burston is editor of the gay section of London listings magazine Time Out and founder of gay literary event Polari.
75 Paul Reed, CEO BP
The CEO of integrated supply trading at BP, Reed has criticised the City for old-fashioned attitudes to LGBT staff.
76 Daniel Winterfeldt, Lawyer
US securities lawyer Winterfeldt is head of CMS's International Capital Markets group.
77 Sir Cameron Mackintosh, producer
Mackintosh is famous for turning musicals such as Les Misérables into global theatrical productions. Openly gay, he is patron of The Food Chain, a London HIV charity.
78 Ashley Steel, city adviser
Steel is a board member at management services company KPMG, where she is also a member of the board subgroup for diversity.
79 Alice Arnold, broadcaster
Broadcaster, presenter and Radio 4 newsreader, Arnold is civil partner of sports presenter Clare Balding.
80 Marai Larasi, CEO Imkaan
Director of black feminist organisation Imkaan, Larasi is dedicated to ending violence against women and girls.
81 Mark McLane, MD, global head of diversity and inclusion, Barclays
American businessman McLane moved to the UK in 2011 with his partner Carlos, to lead Barclays' diversity programme. He didn't come out professionally until he was 32, but says it has since shaped his career.
82 Horse McDonald, musician
Earlier this year, the Scottish singer songwriter married her partner in her home town of Lanark, where she had faced anti-gay bullying growing up.
83 Julie Bindel, journalist
Feminist journalist and Guardian contributor Bindel is co-founder of the group Justice for Women, which opposes violence against women.
84 Fiona Shaw, actor
An actor who has starred in and directed many theatrical productions and screen dramas, Shaw is possibly best known for her role as Mrs Dursley in the Harry Potter films.
85 Andy Woodfield, partner PwC
Woodfield created the Glee at PwC network, an employee network for "gays, lesbians and everyone else".
86 Pratibha Parmar, film-maker
Known for her politically complex documentaries focusing on disenfranchised groups, Parmar's most recent film, Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth, is a feature-length documentary about the life and art of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Colour Purple.
87 Barney Frank, politician
The most prominent gay US politician, Frank was elected to the House of Representatives in 1980 and became the first member of Congress to voluntarily come out in 1987.
88 Andi Keeling, MD, women's markets, RBS
The male-dominated banking world put Keeling off being out at work; she now hopes she can be an inspiration to other gay women in the sector.
89 Neil Bentley, deputy director-general, CBI
Bentley represents the CBI nationally and internationally, and is a champion of boardroom diversity.
90 Omar Sharif Jr, actor
Elder grandson of the Lawrence of Arabia star, Omar Sharif Jr came out and left Egypt during the 2011 revolution, writing in the Advocate: "I write this article in fear. Fear for my country, fear for my family and fear for myself … I am Egyptian, I am half Jewish, and I am gay." He now lives in Los Angeles.
91 Harry Derbidge, TV personality
Perhaps the most recognisable gay teenager in the country, Harry Derbidge has left The Only Way is Essex and opened a shop in Brentwood.
92 Jeff Holland, co-founder, Liongate Capital Management
Jeff Holland is managing director and co-founder of Liongate Capital Management, which has just sold a 55% stake of the company to US asset manager Principal Global Investors. He was named one of the top 40 hedge fund managers under 40.
93 Jonathan Harvey, playwright
Liverpool-born playwright Harvey had his first success with the gay-themed play Beautiful Thing, which became a 1996 film.
94 Lance Price, founder Kaleidoscope
The British writer, journalist and political commentator Lance Price launched the Kaleidoscope Trust in 2011 to campaign for equality for LGBT people across the world.
95 Diana King, singer
Jamaican reggae singer Diana King came out last year, posting to Facebook: "I am... woman ... mother ... aunt ... Jamaican ... American ... international artiste ... singer ... songwriter ... band leader ... friend ... lover ... entrepreneur ... goddess … and yes … I am a lesbian."

96 James Wharton, writer, ex-soldier

Wharton has written about being gay in the army.
97 Denise Marshall, CEO, Eaves
Marshall's charity, Eaves, helps victims of violence and sex trafficking. She returned her OBE in protest at the budget cuts.
98 Tim Sigsworth, Albert Kennedy Trust
Tim Sigsworth is chief executive of the Albert Kennedy Trust, which helps young LGBT people who have been made homeless or are living in a hostile environment.
99 Ceri Goddard, CEO, Fawcett Society
In her professional capacity, Goddard campaigns for the equality of women at all levels. She is also a trustee of the Equality and Diversity Forum.
100 Jane Czyzselska, editor of Diva
As editor of Diva, the biggest-selling magazine in Europe for lesbian and bisexual women, Czyzselska emphasises the community's diversity

 
stonewall Stonewall Workplace Equality index 2013
Co-op ranked as the third-best organisation in the UK for LGBT people to work.
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Gay Mayor Waltham Forest Council has been named one of the best places to work for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people. The authority was placed 63rd on gay rights charity Stonewall’s 2013 list of the 100 best employers of gay staff. The ranking beats last year’s placing of 92 and means the council is one of just four London local authorities to feature in the top 100, which Stonewall defines as a list of employers working to create a safe and inclusive environment for employees, customers and stakeholders.
NutshellWaltham Forest Council has been named one of the best places to work for lgbt people.
Cllr Mark Rusling5th February 2013
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The authority was placed 63rd on gay rights charity Stonewall’s 2013 list of the 100 best employers of gay staff.

The ranking beats last year’s placing of 92 and means the council is one of just four London local authorities to feature in the top 100, which Stonewall defines as a list of employers working to create a safe and inclusive environment for employees, customers and stakeholders.

Councillor Mark Rusling, cabinet member for economic development and corporate resources, said: “I am extremely pleased with the result this year, especially as it is the highest we have ever been ranked in the seven years that the council has entered the index.

“It is recognition of our continued commitment to creating a supportive, open and inclusive environment for all our staff and residents as well as broader recognition for the borough.

“Waltham Forest wants to attract and retain the best talent regardless of background or sexual orientation, and it’s achievements like this that contribute to being a good employer.”


 
natNational AIDS Trust figures:  one in 180 people in Waltham Forest has HIV. The national average is one in 650 people.
NutshellWaltham Forest Council 'should consult experts like Positive East to tackle HIV'
24th April 2013
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Waltham Forest Council has been urged to consult local charities and those living with HIV after it was revealed to have one of the highest prevalences of people living with the disease in Britain.
National AIDS Trust (NAT) is calling for the authority to prioritise HIV and AIDS prevention after the government handed more control to councils over public health budgets this month.
The council has been allocated £11.2 million to spend by the government, but the charity claims none of that will be ringfenced to tackle the disease.
A spokeswoman said the council must not only ringfence funding, but work with local charities like Positive East to tackle the problem.
She said: “They should work with people already working within the borough with those living with HIV and find out what their recommendations are, as well as talking to people themselves with HIV.
“They could get a lot of useful advice from them.”
According to NAT figures, one in 180 people in Waltham Forest has HIV compared to one in 275 in 2002.
The national average is one in 650 people.
NAT statistics also state that 52 per cent of people living with HIV in the borough have been diagnosed late, meaning they have a shorter life expectancy and a greater chance of having passed the disease on.
That is compared to a London-wide high of 62 per cent in Redbridge and 60 per cent in Newham.
The spokeswoman said urban areas often have a higher rate of infection due to more people living there from more severely affected communities including Africans and gay and bisexual men.
She said: “It’s not really the culture that affects it but when you have a higher prevalence in a community, people tend to interact within that community and not as much outside it. So diseases are spread more commonly.”
Deborah Jack, chief executive of NAT, said: “We need strong commitment to HIV from Waltham Forest’s local councillors to ensure HIV prevention and testing continue to receive the necessary funding.
“Disinvestment in HIV prevention and testing would seriously harm public health, especially in an area like Waltham Forest which has a high rate of HIV.”
Cllr Ahsan Khan, Waltham Forest Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "Waltham Forest Council is now responsible for testing and treating sexually transmitted infections, and this includes key national aims like reducing the prevalence of HIV and making sure those infected with HIV are diagnosed sooner rather than later.
"We have committed over £3.5m of our ringfenced public health budget in this first year to improve the sexual health of our residents, and this represents more than a quarter of the funding allocated to us by the government.
"As we do with any services we commission, we will be monitoring all of our sexual health contracts closely so as to ensure they represent the best possible value for money and that our residents receive the maximum benefit from them.

"Given the borough’s particular needs, we will also be continuing to campaign for extra resources and address an unfair system that sees healthier, wealthier boroughs than ours receive a great deal more funding."
Residents can access confidential HIV testing services locally at Whipps Cross sexual health service, open daily Monday to Friday, and Walthamstow Citizens Advice Bureau on Wednesday afternoons.

 
Ciaron DoddDisgraced Methodist minister filmed buying cocaine was given a £31,000 'golden goodbye' despite leading Co-op Bank to brink of collapse...now they want it back
Ciaron Dodd claims that he met Flowers in plush hotels paid for by the struggling Co-op for depraved sex sessions. Disgraced Methodist minister filmed buying cocaine was given a £31,000 'golden goodbye' despite leading Co-op Bank to brink of collapse. [1]

NutshellDisgraced Methodist minister filmed buying cocaine was given a £31,000 'golden goodbye'
Rev Flowers21 November 2013
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Disgraced former Co-operative Bank boss Paul Flowers was handed a £31,000 'golden goodbye' after he resigned, despite leading it to the brink of collapse, it was revealed today.
The Methodist minister, who was filmed allegedly buying crystal meth, crack cocaine and ketamine, was given a pay-off of the remainder of his £130,000 annual salary in June.
Now the bank is trying to claw back the cash and has ceased any further payments.
They will not confirm what the total payout is but have written to him to ask for the money back.
Their statement said: 'When Paul Flowers relinquished his responsibilities in June, it was agreed, as per his contractual obligations that his fees for the rest of his period of office would be paid.
'Following recent revelations, the Board stopped all payments with immediate effect and no further payments will be made. As previously stated, an internal fact-finding review is now under way.'
Flowers was chairman of the 'ethical' Co-op Bank from 2010 until May this year when he stepped down as it became clear the bank was on the path to losing £700million.
It came as it emerged that the Reverend was convicted of drink-driving in 1990, but just like after his conviction for gross indecency in 1981 he was forgiven by the church.
His Co-op pay-off was described a 'scandal' today and 'ill-deserved earnings' rewarded for 'incompetence and damage he has inflicted on the Co-op Bank, former Leeds MEP Michael  McGowan said.
The latest revelations surrounding Mr Flowers and the crisis-hit bank emerged as the Government indicated there would be an independent inquiry into how the Methodist minister - who has now been suspended indefinitely by his church -  came to be appointed in the first place.
 Flowers is accused of buying and using illegal drugs including crystal meth, crack  cocaine and ketamine.
Police have searched his home as they investigate drugs offences. In recent days the Methodist has been hit with scandal after scandal.
While he was in charge of the Co-op he was setting up sex sessions with rent boys using his work email.
it also emerged that 32 years ago he was convicted of gross indecency after he was caught by police performing a sex act with a trucker in a public toilet.
He also resigned as a Labour councillor in Bradford in 2011 after 'inappropriate but not illegal adult content' was found on a computer he used, the city council said.
It has now been revealed Rev Flowers was caught drunk at the wheel in Manchester in June 1990, after celebrating his 40th birthday.
It is believed he was later banned from the roads after appearing before magistrates in the city. A spokeswoman for the Methodist Church said he had been allowed to continue his role in the church.
She said: 'This was a matter for our usual procedures and after that process was complete it was decided he could continue as a minister. This matter did not preclude him from his activities in the church. He was very contrite, and he continued his work.'

 
Ciaron Dodd, Ciaron Dodd, 21, a part-time model and £650-a-night escort, described how the Methodist minister showered him with gifts and took him for nights out to the theatre. However the rent boy did not reveal how as a teenager he was part of a gang which terrorised a string of convenience stores – including, in an extraordinary irony, a Co-op.
Nutshell Paul Flowers' rent boy spent nine months in a young offenders' institute for armed raid
co op bank23 November 2013
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Rent boy Ciaron Dodd who is alleged to have had drug fueled sex with disgraced bank boss Paul Flowers

A male escort allegedly paid for sex by shamed Co-operative Bank chief Paul Flowers is a convicted armed robber who attacked a Co-op store, the Daily Mail can reveal.

Ciaron Dodd, 21, a part-time model and £650-a-night escort, described this week how the Methodist minister showered him with gifts and took him for nights out to the theatre.

However the rent boy did not reveal how as a teenager he was part of a gang which terrorised a string of convenience stores – including, in an extraordinary irony, a Co-op.

Dodd was sentenced to nine months’ detention when he was 17 for carrying out the raids armed with knives and coshes.

Targets included the Co-op branch in the Cheshire village of Grappenhall, with the gang’s eventual haul including £285 in cash and £1,000 worth of cigarettes and scratch cards.

He and six other youths involved in the two-month crime spree appeared before Warrington Crown Court where

Dodd was locked up for nine months at a young offenders’ institution.

Dodd has described how he took part in threesomes with Flowers and another rent boy after taking a cocktail of substances including cocaine, ketamine and the party drug GHB.

He has backed up his claim by producing damning messages sent by Flowers, 63, from his work email – in which he organised the drug-fuelled threesomes.
Ciaron Dodd served nine months in a young offenders' institution for his part in a Cheshire crime spree

Ciaron Dodd served nine months in a young offenders' institution for his part in a Cheshire crime spree

In one, Flowers wrote: ‘Been waiting for you to come and have some coke (cocaine) and k (Ketamin) with me. P x’

Earlier this week, Dodd said: ‘I knew what he did for a living and couldn’t believe how debauched he was. Every time he saw me he knew he was risking everything – but he just didn’t seem to care.

‘He took me to the theatre and gave me presents like chocolate and wine. I was old enough to be his grandson but he didn’t seem to think we looked like the odd couple.’

 
co op bankLocal authorities across Britain have been warned by financial advisers to urgently remove their money from Co-op bank accounts in the wake of the recent crises. The Labour party is facing a major financial crisis after the scandal stricken Co-operative Group told its MPs that they will slash their funding as part of a review of their historic partnership. At least a third of the £850,000 annual donation given to Ed Miliband's MPs is to be cut, with one senior Labour figure admitting that he believed all funding from the mutual could soon be stopped.
NutshellLabour faces cash crisis as Co-op's new bosses move to cut funding
wfcw
23 November 2013
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Flowers scandal fallout 'could cost £850,000' in what would be a major blow for the party in the runup to a general electionLocal authorities across Britain have been warned by financial advisers to urgently remove their money from Co-op bank accounts in the wake of the recent crises. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The Labour party is facing a major financial crisis after the scandal stricken Co-operative Group told its MPs that they will slash their funding as part of a review of their historic partnership.

At least a third of the £850,000 annual donation given to Ed Miliband's MPs is to be cut, with one senior Labour figure admitting that he believed all funding from the mutual could soon be stopped.

Such a move would be a major blow for Miliband in the runup to the general election, as it comes after the GMB union's decision to cut their £1m a year funding to Labour by 90%. It is feared that other affiliated unions could make similar announcements before 2015.

The development comes as the Observer can reveal that local authorities across Britain have been warned by financial advisers to urgently remove their money from Co-op bank accounts in the wake of the recent crises, including the arrest of Rev Paul Flowers in connection with the supply of class A drugs.

Mark Horsfield, director at advisers Arlingclose, whose clients include 30 local authorities which bank with the Co-op, said the situation was getting worse by the day as the bank was being buffeted by scandal. Headteachers managing school budgets have also been told to "watch out with the Co-op" by their local authorities on his firm's advice, Horsfield revealed, prompting concerns of a wider run on the bank.

"Such is the nature of the deterioration, we have advised clients to sweep any exposure of bank accounts in the Co-op," he said. "We have not only issued the advice but have made sure it is implemented. Many of them [the local authorities] had already come to that conclusion, but we have been reiterating and published advice again on Thursday softly reminding clients, and keeping it at the top of our agenda."

Around 150 local authorities are believed to bank with the Co-op and Horsfield said he believed other consultants would be offering the same advice.

A Co-op Group spokesman said the most recent figures, for the first half of the year, including the period since credit agency Moody's downgraded its rating, showed that £1.6bn in corporate deposits had been taken out of the bank. He believed retail deposits, where cash is not being held for investments, were currently "broadly stable".

As the scandal has rocked the Co-op, a Labour source said that informal contact had been made with senior politicians to warn of an impending cut to funding for the 32 MPs who are members of both Labour and the Co-operative parties.

The MPs most affected by the Co-op cuts met in private in the Commons Boothroyd room on Wednesday. Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield, who attended the meeting, said: "There is no doubt there is going to be a 30% cut across the board."

Donations from the Co-op Group go to MPs and councillors who represent Labour and the Co-op party, an affiliated organisation which, after running costs, spends its money on the election campaigns of the MPs. Labour MPs have become particularly concerned for the future of the Co-op Group after it emerged that the mutual is now being advised by Quiller Consultants, whose senior executives include David Cameron's former special adviser, Sean Worth, and George Bridges, a close friend of George Osborne and former campaign director for the Conservatives under Cameron when in opposition.

When approached to explain their role with the Co-op, Worth emailed: "We are advising the Co-operative Group, as we declare on the Association of Professional Political Consultants register, but do not discuss client matters."

This week will be crucial for the Co-op Bank and the wider group. By Friday, bond holders in the bank need to vote on a rescue plan; failure to do so could force the Bank of England to step in, with possibly serious ramifications for its account holders. The Co-op Group needs hedge funds to step in and take a 70% stake in the business to plug its financial black hole.

Last week the government announced two independent inquiries into the Co-op Bank and the embarrassing flow of revelations about Flowers prompted by claims in the Mail on Sunday last weekend. Video footage and text messages in the paper allegedly provided evidence that Flowers had purchased class A substances, including crystal meth, while planning "a drug-fuelled gay orgy".

The Financial Conduct Authority later announced an inquiry into the behaviour of key individuals at the Co-op in the period when a £1.5bn black hole in its finances emerged, largely due to a disastrous acquisition of the Britannia building society. A separate more general inquiry ordered by George Osborne, will be conducted by the Prudential Regulation Authority.

It later emerged that Flowers had resigned as deputy chairman of Co-op Group in June because of concerns about his misuse of expenses; that he had two criminal convictions; and that he had left a drug charity after an investigation into his expense claims. It also emerged that he had resigned his position as a Labour councillor in Bradford after "inappropriate but not illegal" pornography was found by IT staff on his work laptop.

Last week the prime minister described the bank's former chairman, a Methodist minister and former Labour councillor, as the "man who has broken a bank".

Ed Miliband has hit out at David Cameron for using the Paul Flowers scandal to attack his party's links to the co-operative movement. In a strongly worded attack in the Independent on Sunday, Miliband accused the prime minister of resorting to a strategy of mud-slinging in an effort to win the 2015 election.

Miliband said Cameron "hit a new low by trying to use the gross errors and misconduct of one man, Paul Flowers, to impugn the integrity of the entire Labour movement".

 
fsaBritain today - Just tick the right diversity boxes and, hey presto, you can run a major bank, or just about anything else.
The FSA approved Flowers’s appointment to chair the Co-op Bank, even after he had been a member of the board that pushed through a calamitous merger with the Britannia Building Society, which now threatens the solvency of the entire enterprise. Nor were questions later raised about his fitness to chair the bank, even though in 2011 he had resigned as Labour councillor in Bradford after ‘inappropriate adult content’ was found on his work laptop.
NutshellJust tick the right diversity boxes and, hey presto, you can run a major bank
wfcw24 November 2013
read ..
Why in 2010 did the Financial Services Authority approve the appointment of Paul Flowers to preside over a bank with almost £50 billion of assets and 4.7 million customers?

Why in 2010 did the Financial Services Authority approve the appointment of Paul Flowers to preside over a bank with almost £50 billion of assets and 4.7 million customers?

Forget - as you probably will want to - the sordid sexual shenanigans of the former chairman of the Co-operative Bank, the Reverend Paul Flowers. The question that must remain in all our minds is this: why in 2010 did the Financial Services Authority approve the appointment of this man to preside over a bank with almost £50  billion of assets and 4.7 million customers?

As everyone now knows, he had no career banking experience - bar a few years as a teller, immediately after leaving school.

Bear in mind that one of the lessons of the collapse of the giant banks RBS and HBOS was that both had been chaired by men with no hands-on experience of banking - neither Sir Tom McKillop (RBS) or Lord Stevenson (HBOS) had the faintest understanding of the complicated financial debt instruments on which the deposits of millions had been risked.

Yet despite these disastrous examples, the FSA approved Flowers’s appointment to chair the Co-op Bank, even after he had been a member of the board that pushed through a calamitous merger with the Britannia Building Society, which now threatens the solvency of the entire enterprise.

Nor were questions later raised about his fitness to chair the bank, even though in 2011 he had resigned as Labour councillor in Bradford after ‘inappropriate adult content’ was found on his work laptop.

This material would have been gay pornography. Flowers — and quite clearly he can’t be criticised for this — made no secret of his homosexuality and was a patron of the Terrence Higgins Trust, the HIV-Aids charity.

Now here is where the Methodist minister — a ringer for Uncle Monty from Withnail And I, as portrayed by the late Richard Griffiths — ticked at least one of the FSA’s boxes. The organisation (which this year has finally been split up and stripped of its banking regulation role) had become obsessed with the fashionable issue of ‘diversity’.

This did not mean that its staff were interested in differences of opinions on financial regulation: the term, in its bureaucratic meaning, refers only to sexual and ethnic identity. It was New Labour, under Gordon Brown’s chancellorship, which had foolishly moved banking regulation from the Bank of England to the FSA: as if in gratitude the FSA slavishly endorsed the so-called ‘equalities agenda’ which that government regarded as its social mission.
The FSA approved Flowers's appointment to chair the Co-op Bank, even after he had been a member of the board that pushed through a calamitous merger with the Britannia Building Society

The FSA approved Flowers's appointment to chair the Co-op Bank, even after he had been a member of the board that pushed through a calamitous merger with the Britannia Building Society

So the FSA began sending out voluminous questionnaires to banks, demanding to know about the sexual identities of their employees, and what they were doing to ensure that an appropriate proportion of their staff could be regarded as members of the ‘LGBT community’ — that is lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, for those unfamiliar with the terminology.

It was determined to set an example itself: its most recent (and exhaustive) ‘annual diversity report’ exults that ‘on sexual orientation, we rose to 109th out of the 376 employers across Britain who entered Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index. We were at 138th place the previous year and are pleased to have been recognised for the improvements we continue to make for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff.’

In this context, it is easy to imagine that the FSA would see the appointment of the Rev Paul Flowers as a wonderful example to set to the insufficiently socially aware financial services industry: the first openly gay chairman of a significant British bank.
The FSA had become obsessed with the fashionable issue of 'diversity' and began sending out voluminous questionnaires to banks, demanding to know about the sexual identities of their employees

The FSA had become obsessed with the fashionable issue of 'diversity' and began sending out voluminous questionnaires to banks, demanding to know about the sexual identities of their employees

The chairman of the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee, Andrew Tyrie, expressed incredulity when Flowers, appearing before him a few weeks ago, seemed to have no clue about the scale of the assets for which he had fiduciary responsibility.

Perhaps, instead of apologising, Flowers should have declared that although he had been wrong to say they had amounted to around £3  billion — approximately £44  billion below the true figure — he could answer any question Tyrie might like to put about the Co-op Bank’s stellar performance in responding to the FSA’s demand for greater ‘diversity’. On second thoughts, it was better that he didn’t.

The austere and forensic Tyrie is one of those old-fashioned types who thinks that banks should be run by those best qualified to do so, regardless of how many ‘equalities’ boxes might be ticked by the directors who have fouled things up enough to require interrogation by his committee.

In other forums, however, Flowers’s sexuality does seem to have afforded him some protection. I wonder if the Left-of-Centre press (not to mention the Reverend’s former colleagues in the Labour Party-affiliated Co-operative movement) would have been be so reluctant to criticise him if it had been female teenage prostitutes he had been cavorting with; or if it had been pornographic pictures of women that he had been ogling on his official laptop.

But as a member of the ‘LGBT community’, Flowers can somehow be seen as part of an oppressed minority, whom it would be politically incorrect to denounce as a sexual predator.

This is not to say that I believe that Flowers’s behaviour — crystal meth, ketamine and all — would have been any less grotesque if it had been conducted only with members of the opposite sex. I have written more than one article in defence of the Government’s legalisation of same-sex marriage. I have long thought that it is a good thing for homosexuality to be free of all stigma.
When it comes to who runs our banks, the only thing that matters is competence: 'diversity' - even in the right-on Co-operative movement - should have nothing to do with it

When it comes to who runs our banks, the only thing that matters is competence: 'diversity' - even in the right-on Co-operative movement - should have nothing to do with it

It was common for gay men of my generation (and more so among those of an earlier generation when consenting homosexual acts even in private were imprisonable offences) to masquerade as heterosexual in order to conform — and to avoid cruel bullying or even what was then known as ‘queer-bashing’.

The result was all too often that they married women who had no idea of the real sexual nature of the man with whom they promised to spend the rest of their lives.

I recall one London friend whose husband revealed after many years that he was gay and that he was leaving her for a man. With my usual lack of tact I tried to console her by saying ‘at least you haven’t been superseded by a younger woman’. She rightly flew at me, saying that what had happened made her whole married life seem like a lie — which of course it had been.

So, yes, we should treat gay men (and women) with the respect that would help ensure fewer such tragedies happen in another generation. But when it comes to who runs our banks, the only thing that matters is competence: ‘diversity’ — even in the right-on Co-operative movement — should have nothing to do with it.


 
ParliamentHouse of Commons - Curriculum Vitae, Paul Flowers
Paul has been an active member of the Labour Party since he was 16. He retired as a member of the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council in 2011, where in 10 years of service he specialised in quasi-judicial matters and was a member of the Council’s Executive, latterly with responsibility for Culture, Sport, Planning and Housing. He is also a former member of Rochdale Metropolitan District Council where he served as Vice-Chair of the Social Services Committee. He was a member of the NEC of the Co-operative Party and Chair of the Party’s Policy Committee.
NutshellPaul has been an active member of the Labour Party since he was 16
October 2013
read ...
Curriculum Vitae

The Reverend Paul John Flowers

Educated at Barton Peveril Grammar School, Hampshire, Bristol University (BA in Theology) and Geneva University (Certificate in Ecumenical Studies and Ecumenical Scholarship from the World Council of Churches). A Fellow of both the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Geographical Society, in 2012 he was additionally elected to a Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (FCIBS).

Co-operatives

Paul was the Chair of the Board of the Co-operative Banking Group and also the Chair of the Co-operative Bank plc, between 2010 and June 2013. He was appointed as a Director of the Banking Group in the summer of 2009. He was additionally the senior Deputy Chair of the Co-operative Group as a whole which runs all the family of businesses in the UK. He was the Chair of the Group’s Remuneration and Appointments Committee and of the Diversity Strategy Group. He was a member of the Group Board between 2008 and 2013 and was previously a Director of the United Co-operative Society Ltd until its merger with the Group.
He was an elected member of the Executive of the European Association of Co-operative Banks, of the Board of the International Association of Co-operative Banks, and a member of the All Nations Board of the International Co-operative and Mutual Insurance Federation. He was also the Chair of the International Co-operative Alliance’s Global Development Fund, and instrumental in raising many millions of dollars for the Fund’s work.
Within the co-operative family Paul chaired the Yorkshire Co-operative Employees Pension Fund and was a trustee of the PACE pension scheme, one of the largest pension schemes in the country. He was an elected member of the West Yorkshire Area Committee and the North Regional Board within the Co-operative Group’s structures. He stood down from all his roles within the Co-operative Group in June 2013.

Church

Paul has been a Minister of the Methodist Church since 1975 serving in a variety of locations around the country. He is currently in a part-time appointment serving two churches in urban villages in Bradford. He is a long-serving member of the Methodist Conference and was for a number of years the Secretary and then the President of the Consultative Conference of European Methodist Churches. He is a member of the Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes, the custodian trustee body which cares for all the church’s property and invested funds in the UK. He is a Methodist adviser to the Joseph Rank Benevolent Trust. He serves on the national body which selects candidates for ministry and is Chaplain to the Bradford branch of the Royal British Legion.

Politics and Community Life

Paul has been an active member of the Labour Party since he was 16. He retired as a member of the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council in 2011, where in 10 years of service he specialised in quasi-judicial matters and was a member of the Council’s Executive, latterly with responsibility for Culture, Sport, Planning and Housing. He is also a former member of Rochdale Metropolitan District Council where he served as Vice-Chair of the Social Services Committee. He was a member of the NEC of the Co-operative Party and Chair of the Party’s Policy Committee.
Paul has been the Chair of the Governors of Lidget Green Primary School and Children’s Centre since 2001. The school is in one of the most deprived communities in the country, and he is very proud of the work that the School does within that very diverse community.
Always engaged in community life wherever he has lived he has invariably chaired or served on the Boards and committees of many community based organisations. He was the Chair of the Lifeline Project, which works with substance abuse users, for 16 years; was Vice-Chair of the National Association of Citizens’ Advice Bureaux – as well as of local bureaux in several locations; and a member of the Board of the Advertising Standards Authority. He served on the Board of the Contact Theatre in Manchester for 10 years and was also the Chair of the Platypus Theatre-in-Education Company in the West Midlands.
He is currently a member-elected Trustee of the Terrence Higgins Trust, the country’s largest HIV and sexual health charity, and Chair of the Board of the Manchester Camerata Orchestra Ltd.

Other interests

Paul is a voracious and eclectic reader and a regular theatre and concert goer - he has subscription tickets to the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester and to the Bradford International Concert Season. He enjoys contemporary ballet and football. He also enjoys tennis, cricket, travel and spending time over good food and wine with old friends. He has an aversion to Facebook and its contribution to the corruption of the English language!

Paul Flowers
Bradford
October 2013

Top equality
lbwfAsian/Asian British residents are nearly three times as likely to be unemployed as White residents, and twice as likely as Black/Black British residents.
LBWF, Local Economic Assessment, Nov 2010
nutshellStonewall Top 100 Employers
Stonewall;Stonewall list 2012
1 Ernst & Young
2 Home Office
3 Barclays
4 Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
5 Metropolitan Housing Partnership
6 Goldman Sachs
7 Accenture
8 IBM
9 Gentoo
10 Simmons & Simmons
11 = The Co-operative
11 = University of Cambridge
13 Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
14 Hampshire Constabulary
15 Brighton & Hove City Council
16 = Environment Agency for England and Wales
16 = London Borough of Tower Hamlets
18 Lloyds Banking Group
19 Baker & McKenzie LLP
20 National Assembly for Wales
21= East Sussex County Council
21= University of Salford
23 = Leicestershire County Council
23 = South Wales Police
25 British Transport Police
26 Derby City Council
27 = Department for Work and Pensions
27 = ITV plc
27 = Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
30 = London Borough of Islington
30 = Merseyside Police
30 = North Wales Police
33 = Genesis Housing Association
33 = Irwin Mitchell LLP
33 = Nacro
33 = Transport for London
37 = Citizens Advice
37 = Leeds City Council
39 = Birmingham City Council
39 = St Mungo's
41 = Bristol City Council
41 = Core Assets Group
41 = National Audit Office
41 = Pinsent Masons LLP
45 = Crown Prosecution Service for England and Wales
45 = Morgan Stanley
45 = Royal Bank of Scotland Group
45 = Victim Support
49 = Cardiff University
49 = Kent Police
49 = Suffolk Constabulary
49 = West Mercia Police
53 = Department of Health
53 = Newham College of Further Education
53 = Rugby Football League

56 = Cardiff County Council
56 = Liverpool John Moores University
56 = Office for National Statistics
56 = Royal Air Force
60 = Hertfordshire County Council
60 = Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service
62 = American Express
62 = Hogan Lovells
62 = The Security Service (MI5)
65 = Barts and The London NHS Trust and
Tower Hamlets Community Health Services
65 = South Essex Homes
67 = Clydesdale Bank
67 = Skillset Sector Skills Council
67 = Warwickshire County Council
67 = Your Homes Newcastle
71 = Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
71 = Kent Community Health NHS Trust
73 = Eversheds LLP
73 = Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
75 = Arts Council England
75 = Dyfed Powys Police
77 = Manchester City Council
77 = Royal Navy
77 = University of the West of England

80 = Herbert Smith LLP
80 = London Borough of Hackney
82 Gwent Police
83 = Berneslai Homes
83 = J.P. Morgan
83 = Sheffield City Council
83 = University College London
87 = Department of Energy and Climate Change
87 = Devon & Cornwall Police
87 = Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust
90 = Plus Dane Group
90 = The Scottish Government
92 = London Borough of Waltham Forest
92 = National Offender Management Service
94 = Barnardo's
94 = London Ambulance Service NHS Trust
94 = Scottish Prison Service
94 = West Sussex County Council
98 = Aviva
98 = Procter & Gamble
100 PricewaterhouseCoopers

*N.B. Those with = signs have joint ranking by score

nutshell BAME Top 100 Employers
Please send information to the editors
contact@walthamforestcouncilwatch.org

 
NavigantNavigant Consulting
London Borough of Waltham Forest, Local Economic Assessment, Nov 2010
. In Waltham Forest skills levels are very low, as in most of EastLondon. Waltham Forest ranks 377th out of 408 local areas in Great Britain on overall skills and qualifications scores. There are more Asian/Asian British unemployed in Waltham Forest than any other ethnic grouping
nutshellA few main points from the report
read ...
Fig 7.5.3: Proportion of population living in Lone parent Households (2008)

In 2008, there were a significant number of people – 56,041 – living in Lone parent households in Waltham Forest. This means a quarter of the borough’s population live in Lone parent households, which is the highest proportion in London, and nearly twice the national average, and nearly 50% more than the London average. Within this, 40,476 live in households where all the children are dependent on the parent, which is potentially a significant issue for the borough as – nationally – an average of 4% of those households have a parent in employment.
A low-skilled borough... Skills levels in Waltham Forest are very low, as in most of East London. Waltham Forest ranks 377th out of 408 local areas in Great Britain on overall skills and qualifications scores.
Males are more likely to be unemployed, and females are more likely to be economically inactive. Ethnic minorities are more likely to be effected by worklessness.

Table 4.9.1: Business and Economy assessment summary 
Large firms (employing 200+) are usually the major drivers of productivity in a local area. While
Waltham Forest has a number of large regeneration sites, and strategic industrial locations that could locate new large businesses coming to the area, the potential for such inward investment is viewed by partners are unlikely.
The Inward Investment market – particularly for Foreign Direct Investment is risk adverse, and companies will not take a chance on locating to an area without a strong track record as a business location.  Ethnic minorities are less likely to run businesses in the borough. 
Despite a large and diverse ethnic minority population, there is a relative lack of entrepreneurialism – particularly among the Pakistani community. This analysis offers the opportunity to promote enterprise among certain communities – which could have community cohesion as well as economic benefits.

Summary: Key Issues, 2010
  • Waltham Forest has a higher proportion of small businesses than London, the Host Boroughs and North East London. 2.6% of employers provide 50.1% of jobs in the borough.
  • Micro‐businesses (employing 10 or less people) are the most significant employer in Waltham Forest – providing 27.1% of jobs. This is unique to the borough among comparator areas.
  • Waltham Forest has the smallest overall production and is the least productive borough in London
  • The borough has low skills levels, which is critical to employment risk, and levels of unemployment and economic inactivity
  • The profile of those economically inactive ‘Seeking work but unavailable’ are very likely to be young and male in Waltham Forest.
  • Men are far more likely to be unemployed in Waltham Forest than women. The differential between rates of unemployment by gender in the borough is the highest is London.
  • There are more Asian/Asian British unemployed in Waltham Forest than any other ethnic grouping. Asian/Asian British residents are nearly three times as likely to be unemployed as White residents, and twice as likely as Black/Black British residents.
  • Economic inactivity is concentrated in the Asian/Asian British population of the borough, and predominantly amongst women.
  • Of those who are economically inactive, the proportion of Asian/Asian British who are “not seeking but want a job” is strikingly low.

 
S tonewallLBWF HPA  
nutshellCouncil's priorities
S tonewall LBWF HPA
Top 100 Stonewall
Employers
Waltham Forest Council, 2011 Health Protection Agency
Our members know that people perform better when they can be themselves.
"At £2,000 per annum, membership represents exceptional value for money and a cost-effective way of implementing employers’ responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010."
Council comment:
"The heterosexism of wider society is the origin of discrimination against lesbian and gay men."
Getting into the Stonewall Top 100 is great news for Waltham Forest and a real testament to our commitment.
In Waltham Forest, the rate of persons living with HIV in 2007 was among the highest in the country. This may be a reflection of the local population, which may have a high percentage of persons in at risk groups, such as men who have sex with men and people who have recently emigrated from countries with high rates of HIV.
download report Kaleidoscope Health Protection Agency

 
Top

 

People should be recruited according to their ability, not in order to meet ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or any other such targets
Comments:
Manchester, United Kingdom: The 2012 annual report for The Co-Operative Group states that Paul Flowers was also Chairman of the Group's Remuneration and Appointments Committee - sounds like he led the committee that appointed him as Bank Chairman and then set the salary for the job. That's a bit weird!
woodley67, Clifton, Bristol: And let's be honest, they are only asking for it back because they were found out!