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

16:50
Police would like to speak to this man in connection with the assault

Police have launched an investigation after a 14-year-old girl was sexually assaulted on a Tube train.

Sammie Aubrey with a goat at Wellgate Farm that is believed to have gone to slaughter. Photo: Tracy Aubrey.

Just when is the right time to teach children about the circle of life?

15:14
Suttons Primary School choir performs at Queen's Hospital, Romford

Pupils shared some festive cheer by singing carols at Queen’s Hospital.

14:19
Keeley Johnson and her son Logan are supported by Haven House Children's Hospice

A mother whose first baby died of a rare neurological disorder faces the prospect of losing her second child to the same condition.

12:23
Essex police. Picture PA.

A 24-year-old man from Romford is on bail in connection with the murder of a father of three.

Original members of the Friends of Upminster Park. Treasurer Keith Webb, chairwoman Janet Davies, secretary Pat Flavell and her husband and volunteer Brian Flavell.

The chairwoman of Friends of Upminster Park has been described as “lovely” and “community spirited” following her death.

Firefighters from Romford, Harold Hill and Bethnal Green attended.

A 62-year-old man was taken to hospital after a collision on the A12 last night.

Trial period taking place outside Broadford Primary School

A mixed reaction to a first-of-its-kind initiative which fines parents £100 for dangerous driving around schools, has been expressed one month after its launch.

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

£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

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