William Eichler 19 February 2020

Union accuses town council of being like ‘The Godfather’

Union accuses town council of being like ‘The Godfather’ image

There is a ‘systematic and sustained campaign of bullying’ in the Norfolk town council of Attleborough, according to the union Unite.

Unite has accused a number of town councillors of waging a vendetta against employees of the historic market town’s council.

Unite regional officer Miles Hubbard has written to council chair Cllr Tony Crouch insisting that he act ‘immediately’ to address the situation.

Mr Hubbard wrote that Unite members ‘have described a systematic and sustained campaign of bullying and harassment of council staff, including persistent insulting and libellous postings on social media, belittling outbursts in public meetings and face to face verbal attacks (including foul language) on staff whilst carrying out their council duties.

‘The council is obliged to fulfil a duty of care towards all of its employees, and it seems that it is failing in this regard.’

Unite’s intervention came after a town council meeting on Monday called to discuss the issue descended into chaos with the police being called.

The meeting, which was attended by 50 people, was called to discuss a proposal to remove two of its elected members - Taila Taylor and Edward Tyrer - from positions within the council.

However, members of the public refused to leave what was supposed to be a private discussion involving confidential information.

The police were called and the building was eventually evacuated as a safety precaution after somebody reportedly smelt burning.

Mr Hubbard insisted there was an ‘unprovoked vendetta’ by a small minority of councillors directed at Unite members.

‘This is a disgrace to the ethos of local government, reinforced by last night’s chaotic scenes at the town council by supporters of the offending councillors, which resulted in the police being called,’ he said.

‘If action is not immediately taken by the town council to stop these attacks on our members, Unite will have no hesitation in holding an industrial ballot by our members with the option for strike action.

‘Behind its Miss Marple image, picture postcard Attleborough is more like a scene from The Godfather,’ he added.

Attleborough Town Council said eight members have put forward a motion to remove two of their members from serving on committees because of severe bullying of staff and fellow councillors.

Cllr Tony Crouch, mayor of Attleborough, said: 'It is quite astonishing in 2020 and, on a week when a high profile celebrity has taken her own life which is linked with online bullying, there are people who turned out to support two bullies.

'Myself and many of my fellow councillors have been appalled at the unacceptable behaviour which has gone on and did our best to put a stop to it only to be abused and threatened ourselves.'

Re-write the rules of recruitment image

Re-write the rules of recruitment

Anne-Marie Scott offers her predictions for public sector recruitment challenges for 2020 and asks, ‘how do we recruit the right candidates?’
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Assistant Director Practice Improvement and Development

Birmingham Children's Trust
Up to £92,681 plus market supplement and relocation allowance (subject to terms and conditions)
We have developed an environment where learning, development and practice improvement are underpinning principles service wide. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham Children's Trust

Social Worker (Safeguarding Adults Team)

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£29,636 - £33,799 per annum
The safeguarding team have an excellent opportunity for an experienced qualified Social Worker who... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Occupational Therapist (Short Breaks- Residential and Community)

City of York Council
£30,500 to £34,797 per annum
Looking to recruit an Occupational Therapist who is able to meet the needs of children and young people with... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Social Worker - SGO & Connected Person Assessment Team

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Special Guardianship Order (SGO) & Connected Person Assessment Team The SGO and Connected Person's Assessment Team first started in April 2019 and due England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Programme Support Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£29.766 - £30.711
This role is a programme support officer which will assist the delivery of vital monitoring, control and governance work to... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue