Monday, July 18, 2016

Oakham Town Council Wages Bill for June 2016 £7,486.47 Clerks deal

Oakham Town Council Wages Bill for June 2016 £7,486.47

This is made of pay for the absent clerk and includes the annual pay rise.

Pay for the assistant Clerk, extra work and additional temporary staff cost.

As more information is revealed about the Clerks contract I understand why the ex Mayor
Cllr Alf Dewis who bullied him instead of taking the correction actions against the clerk said
he would not have agreed the contract.

If the Clerk wants to remain of sick for ever he can apart from other protections his contract
permits him to take 6 month's full pay followed by 6 months half pay on a repeating 12 month
cycle no need for a claim for statuary sick pay which would be quite the norm for the tax payers
who have to foot this bill.

The ex Chairman and the current chairman Adam Lowe are responsible for this mess.

Cllr Adam Lowe bullies.

Cllr Lowe and Co bullied me for pointing out the clerk was not doing his job correctly and breaking the law.

The Chairman Cllr Adam Lowe told members last week the council has enough evidence to
prove the Clerk has breached his contract and broke the law.

I am surprised the Chairman Cllr Lowe could bring himself to use the word unlawful
considering not long ago he wrote to me banning me from using the word.

The Chairman Cllr Lowe is like a power crazed loony dictator and this can be witnessed
from the video evidence of meetings and his emails to me.
Five people including Cllr Lowe unlawfully excluded me from last weeks meeting.
They should resign most of those five have supported the activities of ex Cllr Dewis and Cllr
Lowe and are responsible for the costly situation we find ourselves in with our Clerk.

Due to the continued bullying and exclusion from council business I think it is in the public
interest to reveal the full facts:

At the part of the meeting I was excluded from I sat and listened in despair to Cllr Adam Lowe
who listed all that I had pointed out about the clerks poor conduct.
To top it off a Cllr asked the Chairman Adam Lowe has the council taken legal advice.
He responded no.

The council being The Chairman and the old guard want their wrong doing swept under the
carpet and see the Clerks offer during his time of sickness as value for money and the easy
way out.

The council considered recommendations in a closed office meeting and rather
daftly Cllr Lowe got them to agree a confidentiality agreement, forgetting the very issues
that have caused the Clerks sickness are currently being investigated by the external auditor
Grant Thornton and the findings will be published in a public report.

The Council was asked to consider two possibilities put from the staffing committee.
The staffing committee to my knowledge had never been asked by the full council
to enter into negotiations with the Clerk or his union. As far as I and others were aware
he was on long term sick.

I was pleased to hear Cllr Lowe say the Clerk had not hit the bottom again.

Consideration and recommendations put to council:
The nature of the Clerk's illness is such that he may be protected under the auspice of the
Equality Act 2010 through disability (depression)

(Personally I feel Misconduct in Public Office is a better piece of legislation for council to consider

Definition of the offence
The elements of the offence are summarised in Attorney General's Reference No 3 of 2003 [2004] EWCA Crim 868. The offence is committed when:
a public officer acting as such wilfully neglects to perform his duty and/or wilfully misconducts himself to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public's trust in the office holder
without reasonable excuse or justification)

First the council was asked to consider:

Dismissal due to poor performance
in this case the Clerk may decide to pursue a case of constructive dismissal.
A period of up to 18 months could pass before a case of the nature comes before
a Tribunal, during this time and if the Clerk continued to be declared medically unfit to
work he would be drawing his salary.
The Clerks contract of employment allows for 6 months full pay followed by 6 months
half pay on a repeating 12 month cycle. The cost of a settlement in favour of the
Clerk could be covered by the Council's employee liability insurance however during
the period leading to a Tribunal hearing the Council would bear the additional cost of
his salary, national insurance and pension contributions. Council may not be allowed
to fill the Clerk's post during this period and in which case would also incur the cost of
a locum Clerk. The potential cost to the council is estimated to be circa £70,000 plus
legal fees.

With no legal advice the council agreed to accept the recommendation from the staffing
committee, members Cllrs Adam Lowe, Joyce Lucas Stan Stubbs and Michael Haley.
none of them qualified in employment situations or law.

Settlement (recommended by Council Staffing Committee)
The Clerk, via his trade union representative has approached the Council with a
view to an out of court settlement for termination of employment.
The Clerk would accept a one off settlement payment, resign his position and not
pursue any further claim.

(Cllr Lowe told members the Clerk does not want to leave with any shame and wants
to leave saying he did a good job for the council. I am not sure how that can be achieved
when you consider Cllr Lowes opening comments that the Clerk has broken the law. Are the Council
planning to do a deal with Grant Thornton not to report his unlawful conduct.)

The Council's Staffing committee have acknowledged the Clerks representative initial offer of
a £30,000 settlement sum

(why was the full council not informed about this communication and the staffing committees follow up actions. The Staffing committee has no delegated powers and has acted unlawfully)

The Staffing committee not the full council with no legal advice: 

Taking advice from Personnel Advice Solutions who suggested a counter offer of circa £16,000
Subsequently the Clerk's representative has advised that the Clerk would accept the
sum of £18,000 subject to being paid in accordance with his employment contract up to the agreed
termination date and the cost of legal advice provided to the Clerk.

The Council approved the following Recommendations of the staffing Committee to Council
A termination of employment settlement offer of £18,000 is offered to the Clerk without prejudice.

The following caveats shall apply to such an agreement.

No further action is taken in relation to employment or employment legislation against the council.

Termination date to be agreed, which could be as early at the end of July or August

Current salary to be paid, including accrued holiday pay, up to the agreed termination
date. this equates to circa £874.35 to the end of July 2016

Clerks legal fees up to £350.00

Disclosure of information the council has made confidential:

Lawful reasons for disclosure:

Disclosure is made due to the seriousness of the matter

The disclosure involves the Council failing in a duty of confidence
owed to another person.

disclosure is in the public interest if any of the following apply
points b and f apply in this case.

(a) a criminal offence is committed.
(b) the Council and the Clerk fails to comply with any legal
obligation to which they are subject.
(c) a miscarriage of justice occurs.
(d) the health or safety of any individual is at risk.
(e) the environment is likely to be damaged.
(f) that information tending to show any matter falling within (a) to (e), is
deliberately concealed.

The disclosure is made in good faith,
faithfulness to one’s duty or obligation;