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

12:00
Ronnie Jackson and Bradley Donovan have spoken of how their disabilities have spurred them on to sporting success.

In just two months, sport’s most inspirational men and women will return to the world stage, showcasing their determination to succeed at the elite level by competing at the Rio Paralympic Games.

10:00
 Resistance sliding challenge for charity at The Liberty Shopping Centre Romfrod.

Kneeling at the start line, a rush of adrenaline flows through my veins as I wait to make the 13-metre dash to the finish.

Yesterday, 16:30
Motorists on the A13 between Wennington and Rainham

Reckless drivers are endangering the lives of Havering residents by reaching speeds of up to 124mph, the fastest clocked in London last year.

Yesterday, 15:54
Lawrence Webb  ( Ukip )

A Havering councillor is standing as deputy of one of the candidates in Ukip’s leadership election.

Yesterday, 15:13
Luke Hudson (centre) with his mum and dad on his 21st birthday.

The son of a taxi driver who tragically died at the wheel of his cab has paid tribute to the “best dad anyone could have asked for”.

Yesterday, 12:16
Seven men have been arrested by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and four tonnes of toxic waste removed after two fuel laundering plants were discovered in Essex on Wednesday Picture: HMRC

Seven men, including one in Hornchurch, have been arrested and four tonnes of toxic waste removed after two fuel laundering plants were discovered in Essex on Wednesday.

Yesterday, 07:00
Parents at Parsonage Farm Primary School fought off expansion in 2015

Councillors have criticised the borough’s plans to expand schools, claiming that school kitchens are already failing to provide hot meals for pupils.

Thu, 16:29
Police at the scene last night (credit: donatassimkus.com)

Three men have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a shooting in Gidea Park last night.

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

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.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

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