Mark Whitehead 25 June 2015

Council leader slams TV documentary following local backlash

A council leader has blasted a TV documentary about his town hall as 'deliberately provocative'.

Lord Peter Smith, leader of Wigan Council, said the ITV programme Don't Blame the Council aired earlier this week was 'edited in such a way to only focus on the negative aspects of the job we do'.

He said he accepted that some members of staff were shown not working to the standard required and added that disciplinary action may follow.

But Lord Smith said the council had 'a great team of dedicated employees who care passionately about the borough.'

'After viewing the programme it is fair to say it was deliberately provocative and edited in such a way to only focus on the negative aspects of the job we do,’ he said.

'The team’s efforts to increase income by £5m which have offset cuts to frontline services and helped 77 new jobs hardly featured.

'We do accept though that there were parts of the show where some staff did not meet the high standards that we and the residents of the borough expect from them.

'They have let down their hardworking colleagues, so we will deal with these issues as swiftly and strongly as possible, including disciplinary action where necessary.

'Residents have also contacted us to complain about the programme and tell us how angry they feel.

'I understand those feelings, but want to reassure them that we have a great team of dedicated employees who care passionately about this borough.

'I want to thank all residents who continue to believe in the borough and they have my assurance that our committed workforce will strive to provide the best possible service to all of our residents.'

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