Search

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

PUBLISHED: 14:00 31 January 2014 | UPDATED: 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, 15:20

A man who knifed a much-loved teenager 11 times in the head, chest, arms and legs within metres of a primary school was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment today.

Yesterday, 18:00

X Factor star and TV personality Stacey Solomon has visited patients and staff at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, after donating £17,000 to the hospital’s charity.

Yesterday, 17:34

The Dualers have been announced this week as the second headline act for the Havering Show.

Yesterday, 13:51

A mum-of-three who cites love as her biggest source of inspiration has launched a jewellery design brand named after her children.

Yesterday, 12:09

IVF treatment, boob jobs and weight loss surgery are some of the NHS treatments that could be axed in the borough to save £55million under new proposals.

Yesterday, 12:00

The world wars cast the longest shadow over the 20th century, but it is a different conflict of the time which will be in the spotlight next week.

Yesterday, 12:00

An exhibition will be held next week for a proposal to redevelop an industrial area.

Yesterday, 10:19

Residents up and down the borough will be putting on their red noses, dressing up in costumes and doing silly things to raise money for Comic Relief.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

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