A political row has broken out after the last BRISTOLIAN exposed Bristol City Council for signing off gagging orders to staff at the rate of TWO A MONTH.
Within just days of The BRISTOLIAN hitting the streets, Bristol North West’s Tory MP ‘Sugar Ray’ Charlotte Leslie was calling for Bristol City Council to implement an immediate ban on these orders due to their CORROSIVE EFFECT on open and honest government.
Sugar Ray Charlotte’s efforts eventually elicited a bizarre response from the Shitty Hall’s West Wing-obsessed public schoolboy twit of a PR boss Peter ‘Claudia Jean’ Holt, who claimed Bristol City Council “has used 54 compromise agreements in the last five years,” adding that they “are only ever used in exceptional circumstances”.
Going by Claudia Jean’s figures that’s a rate of just one month… So that’s okay, then. Except it’s not – because it’s BULLSHIT. According to information provided by Bristol City Council in 2011, they signed off 46 of these orders in 2008/09 alone, and a further 54 in 2009/10 – that’s one hundred gagging orders in just two of the last five years! No figures are yet available for the years 2010 – 2013 but on present evidence it looks like Claudia Jean’s misreported the numbers of these orders by a factor of about four…
It’s also interesting to note that there was a MASSIVE SPIKE in the use of these gagging orders in 2008 when Bradford Sun Queen Jan Ormondroyd arrived in Bristol as Chief Executive. In the year immediately before she arrived – 2006/07 – Bristol City Council signed off none. Within two years of her arrival, staff were being legally gagged at the rate of one a week.
So not only did she introduce a bloated, under performing management structure and enormous pay hikes for the chosen few, but she proactively gagged any staff who attempted to criticise her mess. And remember: this is the management that gave us the hated BRT, the loathed green spaces strategy, and attempted to destroy the Bristol and Bath Railway Path – all whilst promoting utter nonsense like promising to spend £50m on hosting the 2018 World Cup – a kamikaze pledge that cost Bristol £363,000 with nil return.
So just how many people tried to sound the alarm and got gagged?
Get in touch if you were one of the ones silenced…
Its interesting that Charlotte Leslie remains the only local politican to come out against gagging clauses. During the Council elections, not a single candidate of any party could be drawn to comment on either gagging clauses or whistleblowers.
Whilst this may be a scandal for the public, for the politicians its just business as usual.
Here’s a link to a full survey of 345 English councils’ gagging clauses / compromise agreements, including Bristol – who, with 121, came in as the 2nd worst offender nationally:
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