Search

Bullying and sexism accusations behind huge rise in complaints against Brentwood councillors

14:00 31 January 2014

Councillor karen chilvers

Councillor karen chilvers

Archant

Accusations of bullying and sexism are just some of the reasons behind a huge rise in the number of official complaints made against Brentwood councillors.

Last year a total of 14 complaints were levelled against members, Freedom of Information data obtained by resident Patricia Smith shows, whereas there were just eight in the previous three years combined.

Eight of the 2013 complaints concerned councillors’ behaviour to other members or officers.

Cllr Karen Chilvers, a Liberal Democrat, said: “Three of the complaints were by me. I think there are a number more complaints that could be made too.

“In the full council meeting, they spent two hours bullying me and they wanted me removed as I scrutinised them. I allowed a vote of no confidence and rather than doing something about it they bullied me instead. They wanted my head on a plate.”

She added: “It’s a joke; they might as well not bother with the complaints system. Complaints get brushed under the carpet time and time again.”

Last year, Brentwood Conservative Cllr John Kerslake was forced to apologise after he commented on the director of strategy and corporate service’s “elegantly formed” bottom at a town hall meeting.

The Labour group leader, Cllr Mike Le-Surf, said that he believed most complaints were not being properly debated by the council.

“You half think: ‘Is my opinion counted here?’” he said.

“[The council] is run in such a style that everyone’s getting very frustrated.

“Hopefully, in the future, everyone will be better behaved.”

The council leader, Cllr Louise McKinlay, said: “The numbers look high but, with the exception of one complaint last year, there was no case found.

“All members have a responsibility to act in a way that reflects the position to which they have been elected – no matter what party they belong to.”

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 19:35
Reporters Hayley Anderson and Ann-Marie Abbasah at the Havering Show.

From wrestling and BMX tricks to star acts and fair ground rides, the first day of the Havering Show had it all.

Yesterday, 15:00
Romford playwright Dan Murphy will open a festival in Havering with a performance of his play Skinny Legs. Picture:Arnaud Stephenson

The thought-provoking work of a young playwright will open a festival of fresh and innovative plays in Havering.

Yesterday, 10:00
40-years-ago

A look back at the biggest local stories from this week 20, 40 and 60 years ago.

Yesterday, 08:02
Jocelyn Brown will be headling at the Havering Show. Photo: PA Archive/PA Images

The Havering Show kicks off from 11am today at Harrow Lodge Park, Hornchurch, with a line-up featuring something for everyone.

Saturday, August 27, 2016
Our reporter Matt Clemenson with Keith Prince and Peter McNaught, Operational Director of the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria Lines on board the first official Night Tube from Kings Cross station.

Last weekend, Reporter Matthew Clemenson joined Havering’s London Assembly member Keith Prince on a tour of the new 24-hour service. Here is his full account.

Saturday, August 27, 2016
Rom Valley Way Car Park in Romford

Supermarket chain Morrisons has confirmed that it has sold the car park site opposite Queen’s Hospital to a global real estate company.

Saturday, August 27, 2016
Meditation class at the Thames Chase Forest Centre, with John London

“We all have thoughts and worries about yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Saturday, August 27, 2016
Johanna Higgs

After losing one of her twins in the womb, new mum Johanna Higgs said she couldn’t even look at daughter Gemma. Chloe Farand speaks to her about the devastating reality of postpartum psychosis and her recovery

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now