More bullying in Chard?
There has been an assumption by many outsiders that Chard’s recent travails are trivial. Lots of “he said/she said”. And attempts by some at least, to dismiss the whole thing as political in fighting.
The councillors found to be bullies (or if you prefer – responsible for the toxic culture at the Chard Guildhall) by the latest report (there have been three so far) were LibDems. That has been enough for some to accuse the opposition Greens and Independents of making it political. Which would work were it not for one inconvenient fact . That the report by Chris Rolley into bullying at the town was commissioned by a respected former Mayor. LibDem, Martin Carnell.
Mr Carnell resigned in frustration at the end of last year. However as we reported at the time, his resignation letter hints at a lack of co-operation from some councillors. And at behaviour which Chris Rolley also described in his report.
Now the idea that this was a small time local spat between townsfolk is also being laid open to question.
The Leveller has learned that another complaint of bullying has been received. Barely 9 weeks after Chris Rolley’s report was received by councillors.
And at a point where despite the passing of 9 weeks, almost none of the recommendations made by Chris Rolley have been implemented.
This time the complaint involves an outside organisation. However it is a complaint against one of the three identified in Chris Rolley’s report. It also speaks to the reputational damage being caused to Chard Town Council. Mostly by the behaviour of just three councillors. Something Chris Rolley highlighted in his report.
The latest complaint has been sent to Somerset Council’s Monitoring Officer.
There are those who clearly believed that doing nothing was an option after the Rolley Report. Brazen it out and the fuss will die down and everyone can return to business as usual. Business as usual being a toxic work culture and poor behaviour towards employees as described in the Rolley Report.
This new case demonstrates that nothing has changed. If found to be true, then the behaviour of some councillors remains poisonous. And this is not just the perception of councillors and council staff. Now it is an independent third making the allegations.
The new complaint will have to be investigated but it is serious. It involves, amongst other things, intimidation and the removal of council property.
Meanwhile some residents of Chard are scratching their heads and wondering when if ever will someone decide enough is enough?
There is a fundamental flaw in the monitoring system…..
Complaints are made about councillors bullying and harassing council employees and members of the public.(yet again)
An independent investigation is initiated by the council to find out if the complaints are valid.
The investigation report confirms that indeed the complaints of bullying and harassment are valid.
The council refuse to release the report to the public whose best interests they are paid to safeguard.
The council effectively bury the report, as they did the two previous investigation reports which came to the same conclusions about the same three bent town councillors.
The new “things will be so much better” unitary Somerset County Council leader effectively buries the report and declares his intention to keep the CTC operating as normal.
Nothing changes and a couple more years from now the whole circus kickd off again because leopards don’t change their spots and those three councillors just carry on behaving the way they have for 10 yrs.
The Chard Town council is a majority Lib Dem council.
The three bullying councillors are apparently Lib Dems
The “things will be so much better” County Council is majority Lib Dem
The “things will be so much better” County Council leader is Lib Dem
The national leader of the Lib Dem Party is well aware of the situation but seems to be dissinterrested
Aahhh now I understand!!
There is only one way to resolve this and it needs the people of Chard to do the right thing and vote them out at the next local elections.
It would appear that technically Somerset Council have no jurisdiction over Town Councils, which I find quite bizarre.