After 8 years as the Chair of the influential Derby Voluntary sector charity, Community Action Derby, Sharief ( the controversial CEO of JET on Normanton Road), has lost his position, following an election at the Annual General Meeting.
Community Action is a focal point for new, emerging, and existing charities providing training and advice, sourcing volunteering needs, and a link for many funding opportunities. As it also represents a voice for the local charities, then the organisation is influential in the City, and the role of the Chair is one that gave Sharief a prominent position, which he lauded with a pseudo-presidential air; one that was close to the intelligence on available funds in the network – this was the “top job”!
At the Community Action AGM in September he must have expected that his re-election was going to be a “shoe-in”. 8 years in the role – it was his, for as long as it was useful to him?
This year there were a few “curved balls”. 6 months on from the 1st Derby News article on JET ( a further 6 articles since then) have put in the public domain a number of specific cases regarding grant awards and information on the personal interests that Sharief has in JET. This has led to many discussions in all sections of the community and within the Council; many people have approached me confirming that there was nothing surprising about what I’d written , and also proceeded to tell me about their own bad experiences. His position at the head of Community Action was surely becoming untenable. An alternative candidate at the AGM was all that was required, and thankfully, the opportunity was seized by the rest of the Trustees to act.
He continues to be a Trustee of Community Action which must be the source of great embarrassment for him. He is also on the Board of Global Education Derby; something which could be the subject of separate articles.
It is evident that Sharief’s “unusual” performance, and behaviour creates a huge amount of unity within the City. I have yet to find anyone who has opted to provide a positive spin on his activities – that option is always available, and will be published, in the interests of balance.
In these times of austerity, finite and challenging funding constraints, the money that is flowing should be channelled to the thousands of people within Derby who are unrelenting in their service to the people they have chosen to help, have no personal interests in their organisations, and are committed to total transparency.
Those organisations, including Derby City Council, that have supplied funds to JET, and Sharief, should commit to re-audit their claims with an independent, fresh, critical, clear, pair of eyes, and convince themselves and the rest of those who lost out to JET that the money given actually delivered the outcomes that were committed. We all wait with baited breath!
Categories: Charity issues