The Conservative Group welcome the commitment of the Council to review its processes for handing allegations of staff misconduct following concerns raised by Conservative Group Leader Robert Alden in response to data released under Freedom of Information requests, as reported in the Times Newspaper.
Councillor Alden said “The Times article showed that over 300 staff have been suspended over the last 5 years with scores relating to fraud and a dozen to sexual harassment. Of course as the largest local authority you may expect higher numbers than other places but even one case of sexual harassment is one too many, we have to provide a safe place for our staff to work. For the End violence against women coalition to be having to ask if Birmingham City Council has a problem should be embarrassing for everyone at BCC. No one should be left afraid another colleague may touch them inappropriately, send them explicit pictures or do much worse”.
Questions asked at the Council meeting also highlighted that one member of staff had been suspended for 581 days. Councillor Robert Alden added:
“Staff being suspended on full pay for extended periods of time is unfair to victims, accused and tax payers. The promised review has to ensure that the disciplinary process is sped up to allow natural justice over a matter of weeks and not years. Now the Council has agreed to a review that itself also needs to be completed quickly so the issue isn't kicked into the long grass”.