AN independent investigation has not upheld a series of grievances involving alleged bullying by the £160,000-a-year head of a publicly-funded investment agency.
Leeds and Partners (L&P), financed by Leeds Council to bring investment into the area, said it continued to support its chief executive Lurene Joseph following the findings.
Local government union Unison said it was disappointed by the outcome and would be consulting with the staff involved to see what further action, if any, they wished to take.
In a statement, Andy Clarke, chairman of Leeds and Partners, said: “We welcome this opportunity to confirm that the grievance complaints brought by seconded Leeds City Council staff have not been upheld, and that the Council has made no formal recommendations to Leeds and Partners.
“The board of Leeds and Partners has met to consider the report and there are lessons to be learnt for both organisations. Leeds and Partners was given an ambitious new remit and inherited a number of challenges from the previous organisation. Delivering the step change in performance and ambition demanded by the city required a period of intense change and strong, decisive action. It is now apparent that this approach, combined with the pace of change, was significantly more challenging than first anticipated.
“The board and chief executive will now consult with the council to ensure that employees are fully supported and that allowances are made for the differing backgrounds of L&P staff. The board continues to support the leadership within Leeds and Partners and its focus is now on looking forward, with the support of Leeds City Council, to build on the good work that has already been put in place.”
Leeds Council chief executive Tom Riordan said: “The investigation was conducted by a specialist in such cases with a nationally-acknowledged reputation and we accept her findings that the grievances have not been upheld. We acknowledge that there are some lessons to be learned on both sides from a time of great change for what was effectively a new organisation.”