“I demand Safecall and the whistleblowing policy be available to elected members“ Scott Dickinson - Northumberland Labour Leader
Labour leader says members are being prevented from disclosing their concerns
Northumberland’s Labour leader is furious about what he says amounts to prevention of elected members to raise concerns confidentially.
His anger comes as a workforce report to be discussed at a council scrutiny committee admits that the council’s own whistleblowing policy has not been used correctly. He is also angry that the report says elected members cannot use the policy and is critical of the process elected members have to go through to get their concerns heard and investigated
Scott Dickinson said: “Why should elected members be barred from using the whistleblowing policy when they want to confidentially highlight wrongdoing? Why should elected members be redirected to one council officer who may well deal with the issue but generally will not, who work for the administration and often lack in the ability to distance themselves from the administration of the day.
“This, along with the vexatious policy recently written, is not only reducing the scrutiny on this Conservative council and its blatant disregard for rules, procedures and officer advice. It cuts off the ability of elected members to confidentially raise concerns. Do they really think its healthy to cut off that avenue for members or is this just another way to manage and cover up?
“We have seen illegal suspension, poor advice from monitoring officers, allegations ignored, actions not taken, a constitution not fit for purpose and a whole range of other failed monitoring officer duties, but we are supposed to have them as the only avenue for raising concern. Talk about political protection.
“I demand Safecall and the whistleblowing policy is available to elected members who have the right to call out wrongdoing and report it safely, whether it be about the party they belong to or anything else.”