'˜No complaints about bullying' insists council chief executive

A COUNCIL chief executive has defended her authority against suggestions there may be a culture of bullying.

Janet Waggott

Ryedale Council chief executive Janet Waggott said no complaints had been lodged by councillors and no employee hadlodged an employment tribunal case.

She was responding after Coun John Clark complained that the authority had failed to respond to concerns raised about a possible culture of bullying dating back to the start of the year.

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At a council meeting tonight, Coun Clark will ask fellow councillors to make a motion calling on Mrs Waggott to begin an investigation into bullying at the authority.

In a statement Mrs Waggott said: “As the chief executive of the council I support council policy to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of Council employees.

“Any employee who is aggrieved about their treatment as an employee has the right to pursue a claim to the employment tribunal, provided such a complaint is lodged within the relevant time limitation period.

“To date no complaint about bullying has been made in a claim to the employment tribunal by an employee of Ryedale District Council.

“If any member believes that bullying has taken place they should report the matter to me asthe district council’s chief executive and the head of paid service without delay.

“To date I have received no complaint from a member.”

The statement said employees could report bullying under the council’s harassment policy and that would trigger an investigation and hearing that could conclude with disciplinary action or that there was no case to answer.

The motion before councillors tonight says that the issue of bullying “has been raised at full council on at least three occasions”.

It calls on Mrs Waggott to open talks with unions and staff to establish if there is a problem.