Mar 25 2017

IBM’s Sweetener for Harrow Councillor Anne Whitehead

IBM have been busy touting their Watson Health application over recent months, so much so, that they flew Harrow’s Labour Councillor Anne Whitehead off to New Zealand for two weeks, just to present a one-hour workshop.

Luckily, Cllr Whitehead had family out there as well, so she could take to opportunity to visit them and do a spot of sight-seeing in the remaining 13 and a half days she probably had spare.

Cllr Whitehead’s 60 minute slot was over lunchtime on November 23rd in Wellington, NZ, so she enjoyed nine days in and around Sydney, before flying to Wellington for three days, and then moved on to Melbourne for her flight home.

  • 13 November 2016 – London Heathrow to Sydney Australia
  • 22 November 2016 – Sydney Australia to Wellington New Zealand
  • 26 November 2016 – Wellington New Zealand to Melbourne Australia
  • 26 November 2016 – Melbourne Australia to London Heathrow

Curiously. Cllr Whitehead’s declaration of hospitality says the conference ran from 13-26 November, which doesn’t actually make clear she was visiting family, 220 miles away for over the week beforehand. Indeed, that declaration wasn’t made public until iharrow asked about it – and certainly longer than the 28 days that councillors are required to report such freebies within.

Transparent? Well, something smells bad.


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  1. Someonewhocares

    Well that was clearly a ‘jolly’ – and if funded mainly by IBM would be what HMRC would generally deem as a ‘Payment In Kind’…

  2. Mr Proclaimer

    This person is a Labour councillor who bleats about working for those in need in our borough but when speaking in the Council chamber brags about both her index-linked pension and the fact she lives in leafy Pinner. One of the many champagne socialists we have in Harrow. Looking after themselves and not the folks in Harrow….. This freebie holiday should be investigated!

    1. Someonewhocares

      If she is smart (enough) she will already have declared this ‘income’ in her Tax return; From what you have said however perhaps WE just need to report this ASAP to the HMRC for them to investigate further?

      Anne Whitehead is of course Cabinet Portfolio holder for Health, Well-being and Equalities, and presumably with her particular focus on *her own* Well-being etc then?

      1. Someonewhocares

        -And, according to *this*, see page 7, she was only *one* of the two lunchtime presenters:


        – and apparently we (Harrow and IBM) are now taking an ‘integrated approach’ to social care programmes. As opposed to what exactly – a confused and ad-hoc one maybe?

        1. Someonewhocares

          And all IBM seem to be offering is ‘early adopter’ programmes which have been developed in the US etc. ‘Early adopter’ often just means ‘being a Guinea Pig’ of course, buy a bunch of software rather than have real people do the jobs in the too-often-mistaken belief it will be cheaper:

  3. Someonewhocares

    Sorry to post up so much information but for those unaware this -briefly- is what Watson is:

    So perhaps Harrow Council now need to deploy Artificial Intelligence because they have such a lack of REAL Intelligence?

    Or perhaps when we have questions in the future and call the Civic Centre then Watson can say ‘Computer Says No’ instead, or all our needs etc can then just be *automatically* ignored?

  4. Wealdstone Warrior

    Disgraceful behaviour! In the age of technology she could have done it as a video conference call instead of being there in person for 1 hour. If these flights were agreed and paid for by IBM, this needs investigating further. I do not have a problem with people travelling for business & tagging on a few days holiday, but IBM should have only paid for bog standard flights direct to New Zealand and back to London within a 2-3 day time frame. Flights to Australia to visit family should have been paid for out of her own pocket. Did she benefit from Hotel accommodation being paid for + meals and drinks? New Zealand is a long way, but she would have only required a couple of nights accommodation to deal with jet lag.

    How many other Labour Councillors and Council Officers have benefited from IBM’s generosity? Maybe if Anne, concentrated on the problems and issues in her ward of Wealdstone, along with Phillip O’Dell and Rekha Shah the Mayor of Harrow, Wealdstone would be in a better state than it is now.

  5. red mirror

    watson says you should march directly into the ovens to save on gas for people who are thinking wtf?google thomas watson ibm hitler and become enlightened.

  6. Harrow Dude

    This is nothing new Harrow Council have paid for the services of a consultant to come from Australia three times connected with this project…allegedly.. but to date it hasn’t officially been denied. Harrow Council is hemorrhaging money and it would seem that Sachin “say it ain’t so” Shah is truly impotent when it comes to making decisions or taking charge. He is the Leader of the Labour Group isn’t he?

    1. Someonewhocares

      If this appalling information is true HD then ‘name names’ (or provide some more information if possible)! Hope the person involved is not one of Whitehead’s relatives though….

      (WW your FOI link is *general*, what is the *specific* case here?)

      1. Wealdstone Warrior

        Click on the search facility and you shall find a list of all FOI’s listed from whatever date range you wish to look at. This particular FOI is listed under March 2017.

        1. iharrow.com

          This one?

          1. Someonewhocares

            Well that’s a *very general* reply to your *specific* request but at least they have effectively confirmed it *is* a Hospitality issue, and thus, under the particular circumstances, almost certainly constitutes a ‘Conflict Of Interest’ issue, too!

            That reminds me in the title of that *very distant* workshop it stated

            “Workshop: IBM Watson Health – Cognitive care management improves integrated care in Harrow”

            – Unless ‘Watson’ was already doing this the use of the word ‘improves’ there was also misleading.

  7. Wealdstone Warrior

    I noticed a FOI request had been made on this matter. http://www.harrow.gov.uk/site/custom_scripts/php/FOI/FOISearch.php
    Harrow Dude, Sachin is the Leader of the Labour Group, but for how much longer?

    1. Harrow Dude

      Is he really the leader?…Or is he just the puppet with someone’s arm up the jacksie making the mouth work?

      1. Wealdstone Warrior

        Good question, I am sure he has a string in the back, when pulled he repeats the same things over and over again! Tory cuts! Tory Government! Everything according to Polly is the fault of the Tories.

        1. Someonewhocares

          Well Dude/Armchair Warrior; As we all know the point is it is CENTRAL Government who *always* pull the strings of course, that’s how “Governments” work>

          -You really do need to learn to accept that WW instead of just repeating the same old rhetoric in so many threads now! In fact do some proper homework/research instead:-

          Here is a TORY Council Leader in Derby from *7 YEARS AGO* protesting about these self-same cuts:


          There are -of course- many other similar examples more recently if you care to look WW (but as usual you won’t of course, where’s the ‘fun’ in that?)

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