Greens make a stand over bullying report in Chard
Regular readers of The Leveller will be aware of the accusations of bullying at Chard Town Council. They have dogged the council over the last 6 months. The apparent culture of bullying has led to the departure of a number of staff and a difficult environment for councillors to do their job. In January a respected Mayor of the town, Martin Carnell resigned from the council.
In an effort to put a line under the problems at the town council, councillors commissioned an independent report. That report, written by Chris Rolley, looked at the issue of bullying. We understand it interviewed past and present employees as well as councillors. The report has now been completed and presented to councillors. However that was at an in camera meeting. A number of Chard residents are now calling for the report to be published. Given the cost of commissioning the report comes from the public purse, that does not seem unreasonable.
However even if published, it may well be that names are redacted prior to publication.
In response to the report, the Leader of the Green Party on Chard Town Council, Tim Eggins issued a statement. In it he says: “The Green Party Councillors have always supported the full publication of the latest internal investigation report. Firstly though, the Council had to meet to consider the report and it’s recommendations. It will now vote on the matter at the next Full Council meeting. If the report is released to the public and shows that any of the Green Councillors are at fault including breaking the code of conduct and causing the loss of funds or officers, the Councillor or Councillors will apologise and resign. We are proud to represent Chard as local politicians and take the role extremely seriously. We feel that the position of the Councillor or Councillors at fault would be untenable.“
Meanwhile the release of the report will, as Mr Eggins has made clear, be debated at the next Town Council meeting. This will be on the 13 March. Councillors can and perhaps should, call for a named vote for that item on the agenda. That is permitted by This is permitted under clause 3 sub-section s of the council’s standing orders. Then the minutes will show which councillors voted for the release of the report and which voted against.