Compensation bid by top Corby firefighter

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A fire service station commander from Corby, said to be the highest ranked black officer in the west midlands, is seeking a compensation claim for race discrimination after alleging the management prevented his further promotion.

British born Mr Warren Simpson of Chepstow Road, Oakley Vale, who is of Jamaican origin, is commander at Birmingham Fire Station. He complained at Birmingham Employment Tribunal that he had been racially harassed as well as discriminated against because he is black.

Mr Simpson is being represented by Race 4 Justice which is also based in Oakley Vale.

His compensation claim against West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service is opposed by the respondents who deny the allegations.

Mr Simpson told the tribunal he wanted a face-to-face meeting with one of his bosses to discuss the way he was being treated.

The respondents said the idea was to hold regular meetings with Mr Simpson to discuss his complaint instead of sending each other e-mails but there appeared to be delays arranging the discussions.

Tribunal judge Mr James Macmillan told the respondents: “This is a serious and detailed complaint and you don’t appear to have raised the matter with Mr Simpson’s line manager. Mr Simpson says quite clearly in his statement that he was unhappy because of the way he was treated because he was black.”

Mr Simpson said he also requested a transfer to another fire station.

The respondents said, however, there had been only four vacancies at the time at other stations.

David Maxwell, representing the respondents, suggested Mr Simpson had his “ups and downs” with a boss during their working relationship but that they were basically good friends.

He accused Mr Simpson of over reacting which he denied.

The tribunal was told that Mr Simpson had been on sick leave at one stage and that an occupational health report had been prepared.

Mr Maxwell said the report referred to the past rather than the present and suggested that Mr Simpson was now fully fit.

Mr Macmillan complained about the slow progress the hearing was taking and warned it could continue, off and on, for weeks at its present rate.

The case had been listed for two weeks.

Race 4 Justice said Mr Simpson was the highest ranked black fire service officer in the west midlands.