Councillor 'bullied' staff over litter

A FORMER councillor “bullied” staff following a row over litter picking, an investigation has found.

Laurence Cawley

A FORMER councillor “bullied” staff following a row over litter picking, an investigation has found.

David Wilson, who served as a member of Mildenhall Parish Council from May until October 2007, was accused by two council workers of verbally abusing them while at work.

Ken Fenn, a caretaker, claimed Mr Wilson was verbally abusive and used threatening behaviour towards him on July 16, 2007, while he was emptying litter bins in Jubilee Fields.

It is alleged Mr Wilson was also abusive a short while later that day when he spoke to Julie Hallett, an administrative worker at the council.

The alleged breaches of the code of conduct for councillors was investigated by Forest Heath District Council and its verdict that Mr Wilson's behaviour was “offensive, intimidating and insulting” comes in the wake of Mr Wilson being given a six month conditional discharge by magistrates for “using disorderly behaviour”.

Most Read

A special council committee which heard the case against Mr Wilson has censured him and called on him to write to the two workers to apologise.

Mr Wilson did not attend the hearing and has not responded to the council during its investigation into the matter.

In his statement to the committee, caretaker Mr Fenn told how Mr Wilson approached him while he was changing bin bags and told him to pick up some litter.

When Mr Fenn refused, claiming the litter Mr Wilson was referring to would be cleaned up when he had a litter picking device, Mr Wilson said he would get Mr Fenn “fired” and threatened him.

Mr Fenn said: “I also smelt alcohol on him, this was at 10.15am.”

Mrs Hallett, in her statement, claimed Mr Wilson “banged on the window” and swore repeatedly about his encounter with Mr Fenn. Mr Wilson, she said, claimed to pick up litter in the fields but was not respected for it.

Reporting their findings to the committee, Forest Heath District Council deputy monitoring officers Joanne Hooley and Peter Oliver said: “Councillor Wilson's behaviour towards both Mr Fenn and Mrs Hallett was offensive, intimidating and insulting. It is therefore our finding that Councillor Wilson bullied both Mr Fenn and Mrs Hallett.

“Councillor Wilson has been convicted of an offence relating to the incident involving Mrs Hallett. It has also been concluded that he was acting in his official capacity at the time of the offence.”

Mr Wilson was unavailable for comment last night.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter