Search

“Dysfunctional” and “vexatious” behaviour causing low staff morale in Brentwood Council, says damning report

13:57 20 February 2014

Leader of Brentwood Council Cllr Louise McKinlay

Leader of Brentwood Council Cllr Louise McKinlay

Pic:NICK STRUGNELL© +44 (0)7966805565 **SINGLE UK USE ONLY, NO UNAUTHORISED REPRODUCTION, NO RE-PRINTS, NO SYNDICATION. NO WEB U

The behaviour of Brentwood councillors has been blasted as “dysfunctional” and “vexatious” in a damning review.

The key damning remarks

These are some of the damning remarks taken from the peer review of Brentwood Borough Council:

n The current practice of constantly responding to frivolous and vexatious requests for information is draining capacity from the organisation

n The pace of much needed progress has been slowed and disrupted by the dysfunctional behaviour and impact of members and there is a requirement for the management team to take more decisive action to rectify matters

n Many staff we met don’t feel valued and morale is low... Staff cannot be expected to continue to work in such an environment

n The new constitution is being repeatedly used by opposition members to seek to interrupt the working of the council

n [Councillors and officers] need to understand and acknowledge what they expect from one another including defining what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

Morale is so low that employees say they can’t continue to work in the environment that councillors are creating, the report claims.

The review was published by the Local Government Association on Wednesday.

It did, however, suggest that some improvements had been made since the previous review in 2011.

The report says: “There remains a distrust between officers and certain members who need to understand the damage they are doing to staff.

“Many staff we met don’t feel valued and their morale is low.

One member of staff said they feel like “just a number on a payslip rather than a person”.

It predominantly blames opposition members for the friction with officers and suggests there is a “requirement for the management team to make more decisive action”.

Conservative council leader Cllr Louise McKinlay said the report had been “fair and balanced” and they would work hard to heed its advice.

She said: “It’s very clear that this lies with the opposition. They have a relenting approach to the officers, bombarding them with demands and requests.”

Lib Dem leader of the opposition, Barry Aspinell, said it was the ruling party which needed to shoulder responsbility.

“I think it’s embarrassing for the council leader,” he said. “Who wants to be associated with something like this?”

But he refutes that his group are to blame.

“I would come down hard on any member of my group who was treating an officer unfairly.”

The report also suggests that opposition members feel information is being denied to them so they must resort to Freedom of Information requests.

Labour group leader Mike Le-Surf said that they even struggled to learn the contents of the review.

He said: “Someone had to leak the document. It’s absolutely disgraceful.

“The Conservatives are running it like a leaky sieve; we might as well be as open as we say we are.”

Cllr McKinlay admitted “giving” the document to the press but denied it was a leak and that the opposition are given chances to meet with officers to discuss matters but “they don’t turn up”.

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00

A talented dramatic company of rising stars is set to perform an original work as part of the world’s biggest youth theatre festival.

Yesterday, 10:00

This week, Queen’s Theatre’s executive director Mathew Russell picked his top 10 favourite songs.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

A macabre tale of murder fronted by a barber who uses his snipping skills to deadly effect may not sound like your usual night at the theatre, but it’s music to the ears of a talented theatrical group looking to bring audiences something just a bit different.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

A fitness firm that operates leisure centres in the borough is celebrating its 30th annual swimathon and encourages people to help it raise vital charity cash.

Friday, February 24, 2017

With World Book Day fast approaching, test your knowledge of some of the globe’s most beloved children’s books.

Friday, February 24, 2017

A British rapper will run a series of school music workshops as a way of showing gratitude for the help he received from mentors.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Pupils were treated to an afternoon of rhyming when an acclaimed poet visited their school to lead an innovative workshop.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Keeping it in the family when trying to set the world alight with music can be a common thing: think The Bee Gees, The Jackson 5, The Beach Boys, The Kinks.

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