Controversial Labour Councillor, Dennis Goldie, has been accused of “rank hypocrisy” after a debate within Falkirk Council in which the Labour member said, “we should throw open the windows of these chambers and get rid of the stench”.
Goldie has been at the heart of Falkirk Labour politics for the last 30 years was one of the high profile figures regularly quoted throughout the Falkirk West Labour selection scandal that brought the Grangemouth Chemicals industry to the brink of disaster. Goldie was also named in the memoirs of Dennis Canavan as one of the senior Labour members behind the campaign against the popular Labour MP.
More recently the former Labour Provost was continually caught out with the accuracy of his evidence in a recent Standards Commission complaint he raised against Grangemouth Independent, Robert Spears.
Goldie moved a motion at the recent council meeting that could see the establishment of “kangaroo courts” with the Labour / Tory coalition sitting in judgement instead of the government funded Standards Commission.
Falkirk North SNP Councillor, David Alexander commented,
“We are being asked to believe that Labour members will act in a non partisan manner yet it is only a matter of months since council leader, Craig Martin was forced to apologise to SNP Councillor, Colin Chalmers, for signing a complaint to the Standards Commission against the SNP member without reading the letter. Not only did Martin sign without question a letter of complaint put to him by Billy Buchanan he didn’t even notice that the SNP Councillor voted with both Martin and Buchanan and so there is little, if any value in Labour’s assurances.
The motion may be dressed up as a protection of staff but this is just another attempt to control the opposition by seeking to usurp the Standards Commission.
However, Mr Goldie’s comment about letting the stench out is nothing but a crude attempt to deflect the legitimate concerns over the actions of Labour, actions both within the council and within their own civil war on parliamentary selection scandal.”
NOTICE OF MOTION
Council affirms the following principles:-
” All Council employees are entitled to a safe working environment free from harassment and bullying and where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
” This should apply whether the source of the bullying or harassment is another employee or a Councillor.
” Employees should have access to means of having a complaint of harassment or bullying by a councillor dealt with in an effective way
Council agrees that while the current Dignity at Work Policy applies to Councillors, in reality it does not make adequate provision for the action to be taken where a Councillor is found to have engaged in bullying or harassing behaviour or provide the necessary support for a manager asked to investigate the actions of a Councillor.
Council accordingly agrees that the Dignity at Work Policy should be reconsidered with a view to incorporating the following changes:
1. All complaints of bullying or harassment of an employee by a Councillor must be investigated by the Chief Officer of the Service of the employee making the complaint.
2. Where the outcome of the investigation is that bullying or harassing behaviour has taken place the outcome will be reported to Council.
3. Council will consider the appropriate action to be taken against the Councillor and, in particular whether a referral should be made to the Standards Commission.
Council requests the Chief Governance Officer and the Head of Human Resources to report to the next scheduled meeting of the Council with proposals for changes to the Policy to give effect to these changes.
Proposed by Councillors D Goldie and L Gow