Black-out: Is Parkes exit a sign of culture at council?

Croydon Council logoThe rapid departure from Taberner House last week of Croydon Council HR chief Pam Parkes prompted one insider to contact Inside Croydon to point out: “Given the make-up of the population of the borough as a whole, the director level at the council is now what someone once called ‘hideously white’.

“It seems that every black director that Croydon Council has, essentially, been sacked.”

Our source lists recent examples. “Mark Pinnock, was told not to bother applying for a job in the second council-wide restructure, and so he left.

“Damian Roberts was pushed out, although he got a pay out and quickly got a job at Waverley to soften the blow.

“I am not aware of any white directors who have been as overtly pushed out as these two and Parkes have been.”

There is also a suggestion that there has been a formal complaint against one council department head over an allegedly racist remark that they posted on their Facebook page. Anyone who has worked at Croydon Council, either now or in the recent past, who might be able to provide more details on this, feel free to contact us in complete confidence.

  • Inside Croydon: For comment and analysis about Croydon, from inside Croydon
  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Black-out: Is Parkes exit a sign of culture at council?

  1. There are times when I have been utterly shocked by the level of institutional racism that exists in Croydon in all organisations. We have got to find ways of opening up this issue and exposing it to the light of day and stopping it.

    Institutional racism is like a fungus – it stretches far into everyone’s behaviour and attitudes – even those who are excluded from power learn to step back before they are humiliated; thus reinforcing their own dis-empowerment and providing the powerful with the excuse that they did not want access to power anyway.

    We need some basic data measures such as spending per head of population per square mile to monitor our equality of offer to all taxpayers in Croydon. Some parts of Croydon have six times the density of population to others – there is certainly not six times the spend per square mile.

    I do not believe in employment quotas, but I do believe that there need to be rigorous procedures to ensure that the best person is appointed to any job; that work is regularly re-tendered; and that tenders should also be open to the same scrutiny…. then, given the diversity that exists in Croydon, there ought to naturally be greater social and ethnic diversity in all institutions in Croydon.

  2. east1956 says:

    Whether this latest departure from the Senior Management Team of Croydon Council is indicative of institutional racism is up for debate.

    However Ms Parkes was, as many will bitterly recall, a keen and active member of that group when it came to benefiting from membership of the inner circle. She was hardly a paragon of open and egalitarian leadership during her tenure as Head of HR etc.

    Ms Parkes in all probability became victim of the very culture she had fostered in which the determining factor is how close your personal relationship is with the current head of council, department or division.

    She surrounded herself with sybaritic acolytes only too willing to follow orders in return for high salaries just like many other senior managers. It’s a dog eat dog world at the top, and this news informs us that another dog has been devoured.

    If there is racism in Croydon Council it is in evidence in the way the organisation and its management treats the weak and the vulnerable.

Leave a Reply