Replacement independent officer takes on task to oversee actions agreed following damning report of Thanet council failures

Thanet council

An independent monitoring officer originally appointed by Thanet council following a damning report into the “inadequate” governance arrangements around whistleblowing, grievances and disciplinary procedures at the authority has not taken up the role.

Instead, a replacement officer has been appointed for tasks including the examination of all outstanding grievance and whistleblowing complaints at the authority.

A Thanet council statement says: “The council previously announced the appointment of an Independent Monitoring Officer, in line with the statutory recommendations to help the council improve governance.

“Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Monitoring Officer who initially agreed to do the work is unable to take on the role. As such, the council can confirm that Quentin Baker, Director of Law and Governance for Hertfordshire County Council has been appointed to the position. Mr Baker started in the role on Wednesday 8 December.

“Progress against the statutory recommendations will be shared regularly with the General Purposes Committee and Full Council.”

In October external Auditors Grant Thornton branded relationships between the authority’s top officers as in “serious breakdown” and listed a catalogue of failures within the council, including using disciplinary action against staff raising complaints; attempting to discredit criticism in independent reports; draining finances due to disciplinary and tribunal actions and causing significant reputational harm to those involved in prolonged grievance processes.

On November 2  Thanet District Council unanimously agreed to Grant Thornton’s four statutory recommendations – including bringing in the independent Monitoring Officer from a large local authority to carry out a risk assessment of the current employment tribunal claims and proposed actions including a detailed financial analysis of the options available to the council.

The independent officer will carry out an assessment of the status of all outstanding grievances, alleged whistleblowing complaints and any continuing suspensions and propose a plan of action to address them.

A lessons learnt report will be produced and current Investigations and Disciplinary Sub Committee business will be brought to a conclusion with clear actions that are reported and monitored.

The council must re-examine financial plans and identify additional savings to deal with costs created in resolving grievances and whistleblowing complaints.

An action has been developed and includes activity that will be undertaken and what stage each  is at.

Intervention from independent officer and other actions agreed following damning report of Thanet council failures

Damning report lists failures, “bullying,” “allegations without evidence,” and use of disciplinary action against staff raising grievances at Thanet council


  1. Why just looking at outstanding grievances. ? Why not a total examination of TDC Snr managers plus all departments, some councillors going back over 16 years plus matters that have been introduced detrimental to the residents and staff.

  2. So nothing is said about the original IMO being unable to take up the role because Madeline Homer released the information before all proper channels had been consulted? Another failing of our piss-poor chief exececutive. If she doesn’t leave she should be pushed.

  3. Well l wish you lots of luck, it goes back decades, start at the top and also ex employees need to stand up and be countable for there pass actions, management have cut the work force on the ground to the bone the
    services have come to a stand still,just to mention one ,haven’t had a street cleaner in Garlinge High Street for years,and the same as a mechanical cleaner around the streets ,especially this time of year with all the leaves on the roads and paths ,but TDC still cut roadside grass in December, grass cutting should stop end of September,

      • Well that’s not true KCC are responsible for road side and TDC are responsible for grassed areas ie parks, large grassed areas school’s, so get your facts right, check and see where TDC send our rates on .

    • Why should grass cutting stop at the end of September. I am interested to know thise reasons as someone who has worked in sports turf for over 40 years. As a head greenkeeper and head groundsman As well as an NVQ Level 2 sports turf assessor. I have never heard of spotting grass cutting at the end of September. So for what reason should grass cutting stop at the end of September

  4. In the past year I have discovered that TDC IT is designed not to work! If anyone uses the TDC Online Contact system, they will find its impossible to copy emails for information on it, unless they have an IT Degree, which I do not have! I have made a complaint against TDC which has ignored this problem, and was informed by Gavin Waite that if I don’t like it, I could go to the Local Government Ombudsman. I did this last year and won a case against TDC, which included their being made to apologise to me! I refused to accept their apology because nothing changed, and the public still gets the most appalling public service! The reason? The Local Government Ombudsman has no teeth, and cannot take any punitive action against a local authority that continues with poor service, Duurh! TDC management know this, which mneans they are fire proof! Again Duurh!

  5. This all seems very odd.

    Did Ashe Ashby co approve the 2nd place selection as it is unclear from the above and is a requirement of the very first action of the improvement plan.

    And what ‘unforeseen circumstances’ stopped the original candidate given it was publicly announced?

    Any insights?

    Seems highly irregular and gives me no confidence in delivery of the improvement plan if this first bit is so weird and foggy. What is going on?

Comments are closed.