How Bullying is ‘Rewarded’ at Bolsover District Council

councillor-malcolm-crane.jpg‘A BOLSOVER district councillor has been shamed after an investigation upheld complaints of harassment and bullying against a council officer. 
A Scarcliffe ward councillor, who is also chairman of Scarcliffe Parish Council, harassed and bullied council a worker from 1999 until she left her post in 2001, the report reveals. Mrs Shaw was a live-in warden at Valley View residential care home in Hillstown, which the Councillor would visit around three times a week to meet with tenants or friends who stayed there. Now a £30,000 investigation held by Bolsover District Council’s monitoring officer has upheld the following complaints against the Councillor, lodged in 2003:
-He pestered her with an excessive presence at Valley View, roughly three visits a week.
-He verbally abused her in front of tenants.
-He tried to get her fired by unfairly criticising her to others.
-He undermined her authority by interfering in daily management matters.
-He unfairly and publicly complained about the activities of her partner at Valley View.
The report concludes that the Councillor pestering, belittling and constant criticism of amounted to harassment and bullying at work. It describes him as someone ‘prone to being verbally aggressive when annoyed’ and says unless he is in control of a situation ‘his defence to any difficulty is to attempt to intimidate’. At a full council meeting on Wednesday, leader Coun Eion Watts said the authority must punish Coun Crane as strongly as it could. “We recommend we take the finding of this report very, very seriously and invoke the strongest possible measures available and show the emphasis this council places on probity,” he said.”This action is about sending out the message that not only do we take this seriously, we also act seriously. We need to send out a positive message to both staff and members and the wider community about the integrity of this authority.” (Minutes here) The investigation also revealed that at the time there was a ‘culture of dominance by the councillors’, which made officers reluctant to address the obvious breakdown in the relationship between Mrs Shaw and the Councillor.’

Published 12 June 2005

Question: So how how did Bolsover District Council ‘punish Coun Crane as strongly as it could’?

Answer: Cllr Crane got a ‘verbal censure.’

The Icing on the Cake is….Cllr Crane is currently serving (2008) on Bolsover District Council’s Standards Committee!

++++Our eyes are moist with tears – you couldn’t make this up! Cllr Crane just got a telling off and is now responsible for making decisions on other councillors standards of behaviour – after a £30,000 investigation (at the taxpayers expense) into his own behaviour++++

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