Thanet council makes complaint to GMB and seeks legal advice after rep’s ‘whistleblowing’ letter

Thanet council

Thanet council has made an official complaint to the GMB union asking for the removal of a regional representative from any council involvement and revealing that legal advice is being sought over “breach” of a non disclosure agreement.

The letter was sent following a ‘whistleblowing’ email that was sent to all district councillors highlighting the case of a TDC officer who is in a grievance process amid complaints about senior management at the local authority.

In the letter from the GMB rep serious allegations were made claiming ‘victimisation’ of the council employee who raised his grievance last Summer.

The letter said the staff member, who is waiting for the full grievance process to be completed more than a year after his complaint was lodged, has been suspended twice, had Human Resources support removed and was told to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement to read the independent investigation report into his complaint.

But Thanet council says there are “serious concerns that his (the trade union rep) continuing actions and inability to follow the council’s employment policies and procedures are a detriment to those members of GMB employed by the council.”

The letter of complaint to the GMB, which has also been forwarded to all district councillors, says the rep has made “unfounded or inaccurate allegations,” and his actions have potentially put the staff member he represents in “breach* of member/officer protocol and that employee is “considered to be no longer following the council’s grievance process.”

The letter also reveals the council is seeking advice on bringing injunction proceedings (a court order) against the rep and the GMB for ‘breach’ of a signed non disclosure agreement.

A Thanet council spokesperson said: “It is disappointing that the council has been forced into a position to respond to such matters publicly. The council is taking this exceptional step in responding as it considers it to be in the public interest to do so.

“The council has made a formal complaint to the GMB about the conduct of a GMB regional representative at Thanet and has also asked for his immediate removal and replacement as the GMB regional representative at the council.

“The grounds for that action include:

  • Failure to follow the council’s HR and other policies and procedures
  • Making unfounded allegations about staff
  • Attempting to coerce Councillors to involve themselves in a disciplinary and grievance matter when he knew that they had no authority to act
  • Putting a confidential HR matter in the public domain

“The council has serious concerns that his continuing actions and inability to follow the council’s employment policies and procedures are a detriment to those members of GMB employed by the council. Therefore we require that the GMB officer should be immediately replaced as the GMB contact for Thanet District Council and be replaced with an alternative GMB official.

“Public attacks on staff are unacceptable. Council staff are constrained in the response they may make to public comments. Staff have a right to expect that any criticism of their conduct or behaviour will be conducted through procedures agreed by the council.

“Those procedures follow the Council’s Constitution and employment policies, the principles of fairness, the right to a fair hearing and ACAS guidance. Our employment policies have also been approved by the recognised trade unions including the GMB. Frankly, it is unacceptable that a GMB representative breaches the employment rights of any council employee.”

The GMB has been contacted for a response


    • Absolutely. This council has a bullying culture and the GmB must support its rep. If they don’t TDC will always have this bullying culture led from the top

  1. There should be and I have said in the past there should be a independent enquiry. They excective should be anserble to the elected councillors and the excective powers should be cut they are too powerful.As it stands they can’t be question if an emplyee see something being done wrong they should be allowed to whistle blow and make it public

  2. “Staff have a right to expect that any criticism of their conduct or behaviour will be conducted through procedures agreed by the council”

    This is correct, but unfortunately you (TDC), do nothing about it, and fail to respond. Why would you ever need a non-disclosure agreement? The only reason this is required, is to be able to hide information.


  3. The dynamic duo won’t give up, will they.? Waiting over a year to have a complaint reviewed is obscene at least and dishonest at most.

  4. Toxic & Dysfunctional….. a phrase used before about the TDC, usually however, against Councillors. This time it should be used about the Senior Executives/Managers.
    If you go against any Union… you might as well quit your Positions now… so as not to embarrass Thanet any more.

  5. You do not mess or threaten the GMB. They are not nearly bankrupt, unlike TDC.
    TDC spend residents money on legal costs. The GMB use members money on legal costs. The union have more funds than TDC.

  6. Non disclosure agreements are used in all the wrong places and protect the guilty and bad behaved and not the innocent or the victim- the use of them should be strictly policed and stop toxic companies, local authorities and universities paying to hide bad practises, illegal behaviour and sexual misconduct.

    • What you said! There’s been promising legal outcomes for people who’ve broken NDA’s that were forced upon them. It would be wonderful if the council leadership has picked the wrong employee to pick on this time. Unfortunately whatever happens they’ll have wasted a small fortune in public money to defend people at the top that don’t deserve it.

    • Yes, and the housing department. They blackmail people into inappropriate accommodation, just to reduce numbers on their list.

      People are told to write in to appeal to a person called Adrian Fibbens. But upon contact with this man, he says don’t bother writing to him, as he will just reject it, and bin it. Therefore, there is no appeals process.

  7. Typical behaviour from those at the top of TDC. Happy to waste further taxpayers money desperately holding onto their jobs by their fingertips and to hell with the area they are meant to be serving.

    Only a fully independent investigation will bring these issues to an end. A peer review is a laughable exercise in arse covering. How on earth can a peer review give an objective view when TDC pay several thousand pound to be members of that organisation who will be asked to deliver the peer review every year?

    This is just beyond a joke. It is a circus and Thanet deserves better than the the toxic twins and their legal sycophants who seem to be the tail that is wagging the elected members’ dog.

    • As a trade unionist I fully support the actions of gmb union in their defence of a member . As a labour party county councillor I know the labour party was formed by the trade unions to represent them in government including local government

  8. Slight change of subject; but why is a new station going to be built at a price of many millions of when it would be far better that The winter gardens plus the lido complex were renovated. Each of these look like BOMB sites. Please open your minds and realise that this money is spent far more widely, on what I’m sure everyone would agree to

  9. On to important matters. While TDC is chatting to GMBU they should clarify the history of the union reporting burials of highly toxic highly persistent polychlorinated biphenyls. Westwood and Pegwell Nature Reserve.

    At Westwood the toxic chemicals could penetrate the water supply aquifer. Then join the undetected cyclohexanone leaking from Sericol to end up emerging from Thanet taps. 1963 to 93.

    When Health Protection Agency expert in 2009 called for epidemiology inquiry to assess the Sericol cyclohexanone leak public health impact did the Agency, and later Public Health England, even get told about the PCBs at Westwood?

    Bretts are investigating the history of water supply to their Ramsgate plant up to the 2019 ban I secured of Manston Aquifer public water source. IE Have they been washing aggregate and mixing concrete with PFOA contaminated Manston water.

    1993 Rumfields Water abstraction banned. 2019 Manston water abstraction banned. The expert inquiry QEQM maternity tragedy is to research PFOA and PCBs maternity risks (Foetal morbidity, premature births, pre eclampsia etc)

    Give your head a wobble IoT News. There are important issues unreported while you concern yourself with one public sector parasite who felt humiliated at work. Oh diddums

    If you look to the history of a former dep CEO at TDC .. overtime scam. The parasites weren’t objecting to being paid double time for non existent overtime work eh ?

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