The publication of the Max Caller Report into Northumberland County Council is a time for reflection and working together, say Northumberland Labour.

The report, which was given to councillors in paper form just before the full council meeting, pulls no punches about what it calls ‘a dysfunctional council’ and Caller said videos of meetings the enquiry team had watched did not make comfortable viewing.

Northumberland Labour leader Scott Dickinson said: “We had staff coming to us talking about bullying and a lack of trust between elected members, management and staff. When you hear that people who have left have been required to sign what are effectively gagging clauses. This is truly worrying.

“The very sad thing about all this is it puts the council in the news for all the wrong reasons again and it diverts attention away from what the council should be concentrating on; serving its local population.

“We firmly believe the council’s elected leaders and senior managers need to reflect on the report and their own behaviour. We’re very concerned to discover that working groups have been set up without any consultation with opposition councillors. We need faith in that membership which may scupper the chances of us being able to help the Council out of the situation.

“We want to work together with the leadership and all elected members to make this council a great place to work and to provide the excellent services local people need. Putting the Council back on the map for all the right reasons which 5+ years of Tory control has destroyed.

“We simply can’t see how people who were part of the problem possibly think they can be the solution without consulting and engaging widely across the council.

“We’re ready and waiting to be part of a positive solution. There is another meeting in two weeks so there is no time to lose to get things moving and make a commitment to real change. ”

Northumberland Labour Leader
Northumberland Labour Leader
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