Call to investigate ‘town hall bullying’
ACALL has been made for an investigation into ‘bullying’ at the council.
A group of councillors have called for an external investigation after 10 per cent of Cheshire East staff members who responded to a survey said they felt bullying was an issue.
Sam Corcoran, Cheshire East Council Labour spokesman, said Labour had previously asked for an investigation into bullying but it was deferred.
He said: “In December 2015 we tabled a motion calling for an external investigation into allegations of bullying. Our request was deferred and has not yet been honoured.
“But the staff survey shows that concerns over bullying have not gone away. We should not wait any longer before taking action on the ongoing concerns.
“Concerns over the culture of the organisation were raised by the Designated Independent Person (DIP) who investigated the Lyme Green fiasco.
“Although the council paid £225,000 for the DIP report, they do not appear to have acted effectively to address its findings. The Labour Group is now calling for a quick and independent investigation to establish the extent of the problem at Cheshire East Council.”
The staff survey was undertaken during June and July 2016 to find out staff views in relation to bullying and harassment and 3,750 people were invited to take part. The response rate was 59pc.
The survey asked staff to answer if ‘ where I work bullying is not an issue’, and 10pc of those who answered said they ‘disagreed’. The majority of staff who answered did however say they considered themselves to be treated with respect.
A council spokesman said the council has established a ‘reassurance working group’ to address the issue.
He said: “Cheshire East’s staff survey result, for the question of bullying, is average when com- pared with those of the other organisations against whom we are benchmarked. The chief executive and senior leadership hold regular openinvitation forums with staff, where employees’ wellbeing and resilience are discussed.
“Both corporate and local actions plans have been agreed to address findings from the staff survey and are being implemented to address areas for improvement. Policies and procedures will be updated and training and development will be made available to reinforce fairness and respect to reduce negative behaviours in the workplace.”
Coun Sam Corcoran has called for the probe following a staff survey