Thursday, 19 February 2015

Message to Wigan Council Staff

It has been brought to my attention that the Labour supporting Chief Executive of Wigan Council - Donna Hall - has forwarded an email to ALL staff informing them that 4 Councillors have been secretly recording conversations with a view to then using them to bully and/or intimidate staff.  The email implicates both myself and Cllr George Fairhurst amongst others, and I would like to take this opportunity to state categorically that neither of us are in the habit of recording conversations with Council staff.  I know for a fact that Cllr George Fairhurst would not know where to begin - I don't believe he could manage to record an episode of Coronation Street - let alone go about recording people's regular or phone conversations.  There have been occasions when the Chief Executive has enquired as to whether I am recording what she is saying - and she has explained to me that on occasion sensitive matters are discussed and for that reason recording is not allowed - this I do not have a problem with.  
I realise that Council workers often have a demanding role and those who carry out their duties in a politically unbiased manner will no doubt see straight through this veil of lies. I would like to reassure them that I would never invade their privacy as has been suggested -  I work hard as a Councillor for the people of Standish - so it is important to me that I get this message across.  With a General Election looming I imagine we can expect more of this behaviour - it is a sad reflection of local politics that those who stand for fair play are targeted in this manner.

Of course, this all comes on the back of a Senior Official at the Council having swore at me during the week - in response to this I effectively ended the meeting and left the room because they did not have the good grace to apologise and since then they have collectively turned on the attack.  Also, the email was drafted shortly after I had recorded an interview for BBC Radio Manchester - where the Leader of the Council had refused to go on air with me to discuss the embarrassing issue of Historical Abuse at Wigan Care Homes.

I have requested a formal meeting with the Leader Cllr Smith on numerous occasions with a view to resolving matters but each time he refuses.

I have written to the Chief Executive and given her 48 hours in which to provide evidence of these allegations - should she fail to do so, I will have no alternative other than to file a formal complaint against her - she appears to be on some sort of personal crusade against non-Labour Councillors.

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