Tags: Council

Pet exorcisms and frozen animals are some of the bizarre questions aimed at council staff

Emergency plans to cope with a dragon attack or meteor shower, pet exorcisms and frozen animals are just some of the more bizarre topics councils have been quizzed on by residents. A ‘top 10’ list of unusual Freedom of Information (FoI) requests submitted to councils, compiled by the Local Government Association (LGA), reveals the weird…

Greenwich council accused of ‘bullying culture’

Occupational therapists (OTs) at Greenwich council, fed up with an alleged ‘bullying culture’, are gearing up to vote for strike action. The eleven therapists, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, will start voting on whether to take strike action or industrial action short of a strike on 28 April. The ballot closes on 7 May.…

Comment on the Sharon Shoesmith settlement

Eyebrows have certainly been raised by reports that a £600,000 settlement sum is to be paid to Sharon Shoesmith who was the head of Haringey Children’s Services at the time of the death of Baby P. However, the large pay-out is not compensation for an ordinary unfair dismissal claim brought in the Employment Tribunal (where…

Theresa Dent-Gater, Croydon Council: Developing stress management strategies that work – and measuring the outcomes

I am thinking about the stress management strategies that have worked for us at Croydon Council as I am currently preparing for the presentation that I will give at the Workplace Wellbeing and Stress conference in November. Pressure is part of everyday life. It is when that pressure is constant and becomes more than we can cope with…

Council guilty of breaching Agency Workers Regulations

A decision by an Employment Tribunal on Tuesday 5 February confirms that more than 150 Barnet Council workers are likely to receive compensation worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. The Employment Tribunal in Watford ruled that the Council failed to provide information on the number of agency workers it employed, which breaches the rules introduced…

Council fined £30,000 for health and safety failures at warehouse blaze which killed four firefighters

A local authority has been fined £30,000 for health and safety failures linked to a warehouse blaze in which four firefighters died. Mr Justice MacDuff said the fine imposed on Warwickshire County Council reflected deficiencies in record-keeping and information given to fire crews at the time of the tragedy in November 2007. During his sentencing…

Local councils preventing SMEs from growing

According to new research by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), local business growth is being jeopardised by council’s decisions. Five-hundred SMEs were surveyed, and the results showed that one in five UK small and medium sized enterprises feel that decisions made by their local councils are having a detrimental impact on their business.…

Council fined £250k following recycle bin data breach

A Scottish council has been fined £250,000 by the UK’s data protection watchdog after a firm it hired to process its employees’ pension records failed to dispose of that information properly. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) deemed that Scottish Borders Council had been guilty of a serious breach of the Data Protection Act. The watchdog…

Outsourcing personal employee data cost council £250,000 in penalties

A Council whose former employees’ pension records were found in an over-filled paper recycle bank in a supermarket car park has been fined £250,000 for the data breach. Scottish Borders Council employed an outside company to digitise the records, but failed to seek appropriate guarantees on how the personal data would be kept secure. That…

Cuts will bleed council reserves dry within five years, says senior Tory

The economic crisis engulfing the coalition deepened after the Tory head of local government raised the spectre of councils across England and Wales running out of cash reserves used to boost local economies within five years, under the weight of massive spending cuts. The warning from Sir Merrick Cockell, chair of the Local Government Association…

Directors use council employee to access tenants’ details

A Slough letting agent and one of its directors who unlawfully obtained details about their tenants from a rogue employee at Slough Borough Council have been found guilty of committing offences under Section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). At Reading Magistrates, SAI Property Investments Limited, trading as IPS Property Services and represented…

Council to cut costs through flexible staff

Wakefield Council is expected to save more than £1m by implementing technology that allows staff to work flexibly, it has been reported. Alan Kirkham, the council’s ICT service director told Computer Weekly that nearly half of all office based staff would become “flexible workers” in the next two years, with the council set to save…