As an opposition in Coventry Council we have always worked for transparency and Bi partisan working.
Under the current leadership from Cllr George Duggins this has been almost impossible.
The news today is very shocking and something we will be pushing for answers.
Westwood ward Cllr Tim Mayer had this to say
“I am truly horrified to find that following on from the Conservative group asking the leader of the council to give the public and us a more credible explanation surrounding the allegations of Institutionalized bullying and following a letter signed by all members of the Conservative group on 4th December, which was refused.
That allegations of bullying have been made by employees of the council against managers or colleagues 12 times in 2018, a rise from zero times in 2016. The amount the leader of the council has spent on NDA's in the same period has gone from £40,208 in 2017 to an astonishing £344,352.81 in 2018”.
At the full council meeting on December 4th 2018 Cllr Tim Sawdon asked the leader of the council to clarify allegations that were raised after councillor Jayne Innes announced she was stepping down as the cabinet member for city services.
The response given from the council leader George Duggins was that he insisted there is not "institutionalised bullying in the council"
Cllr Mayer continued
“This is at a time when we know our front end services are struggling. The ruling Labour group have recently cut kids disability transport, failed in maintaining pot holes, reduced bin collections. Turned down £650,000 of savings we found at the last budget meeting. But have found nearly £400,000 on what looks like protecting allegations of bullying within Coventry city Council.
We believe the public have a right to know what we are spending their money on. Given the dramatic increases in NDA application and the huge rise in bullying numbers the public may well believe that this is indicating some sort of cover up and I think it's time that we have the clear answer. “
All these issues from the unlawful bas gates to high court rulings against our RPZ, Cllr Kevin Maton threatening to thump independent Cllr Glenn Williams, Cllr Rios Ali threatening to stamp on Cllr Tim Mayer, open infighting between Cllr Rachel Lancaster and Cllr Jayne Innes and allegations surrounding Cllr John Mutton, angrily berating a female member of the public and threatening to damage her car when a row over parking spaces broke out have all happened under the Cllr’s Duggins leadership.
We have managed to get a copy of the FOI request that lead to the non disclosure amounts and volumes of bullying allegations being released. We have also attached the letter we sent to the council leader and CEO requesting a fit and proper QC led internal investigation. We believe there is no place for bullying anywhere and are disgusted the ruling group appear to be sweeping it under the carpet and paying for it to be kept quiet while removing vital front line services.