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WORKING relationships between bosses and staff at crisis-hit South Ribble Council are alleged to be at an all time low.

A union representing workers puts the blame at the door of several councillors who have been accused of acting with little integrity and of trying to bring the council down.

The damning allegations were made in a council-wide staff survey.

The response rate was 81 per cent.

Those taking part revealed a culture of 'fear and mistrust' where morale is 'rock bottom'.

The percentage of employees who feel proud to work for the council has plummeted from 98 per cent in 2015 to just 33 per cent.

Nearly half said they were unhappy or depressed because of work and more than a quarter say they’ve experienced unfair and abusive treatment at work.

Worried council chiefs have asked union leaders to help them to turn things around.

The interim chief executive Jean Hunter and scrutiny committee chair Councillor Mick Titherington have been in talks with UNISON Branch Secretary Mark Hodges.

Mr Hodges stressed that the criticisms aren’t levelled at Jean Hunter, who was recruited in late 2016 following the departure of the former chief executive Mike Nuttall.

He said she faced a tough challenge and has rapidly earned the respect of staff for her willingness to tackle issues.

Mr Hodges said: “The council agrees that UNISON needs to be involved in a plan to address the many issues that need to be resolved.”

Jean Hunter and the leaders of all the local political parties have been invited to address UNISON members at a specially convened meeting and branch officers are keen to set up an all-party panel of councillors to respond to questions from staff.

Mr Hodges said some councillors are refusing to accept the results of the survey and are trying to bury their heads in the sand, while others are keen to work with staff to improve things.

He added: “It’s a positive step forward that senior management recognise they need to work with employees and the union to turn things around.

Councillor Peter Mullineaux, Leader of South Ribble Borough Council said: “There’s no denying that the council has experienced a difficult 18 months and these figures are a clear reflection of that.

“I’m grateful to staff for being so open and honest in their responses and also for their hard work in continuing to deliver excellent services during these unprecedented times for the authority.

“We asked employees for their views because we are keen to tackle any concerns head on.

“I look forward to meeting with staff to stress my commitment to tackling these issues.”

WORKING relationships between bosses and staff at crisis-hit South Ribble Council are alleged to be at an all time low.

A union representing workers puts the blame at the door of several councillors who have been accused of acting with little integrity and of trying to bring the council down.

The damning allegations were made in a council-wide staff survey.

The response rate was 81 per cent.

Those taking part revealed a culture of 'fear and mistrust' where morale is 'rock bottom'.

The percentage of employees who feel proud to work for the council has plummeted from 98 per cent in 2015 to just 33 per cent.

Nearly half said they were unhappy or depressed because of work and more than a quarter say they’ve experienced unfair and abusive treatment at work.

Worried council chiefs have asked union leaders to help them to turn things around.

The interim chief executive Jean Hunter and scrutiny committee chair Councillor Mick Titherington have been in talks with UNISON Branch Secretary Mark Hodges.

Mr Hodges stressed that the criticisms aren’t levelled at Jean Hunter, who was recruited in late 2016 following the departure of the former chief executive Mike Nuttall.

He said she faced a tough challenge and has rapidly earned the respect of staff for her willingness to tackle issues.

Mr Hodges said: “The council agrees that UNISON needs to be involved in a plan to address the many issues that need to be resolved.”

Jean Hunter and the leaders of all the local political parties have been invited to address UNISON members at a specially convened meeting and branch officers are keen to set up an all-party panel of councillors to respond to questions from staff.

Mr Hodges said some councillors are refusing to accept the results of the survey and are trying to bury their heads in the sand, while others are keen to work with staff to improve things.

He added: “It’s a positive step forward that senior management recognise they need to work with employees and the union to turn things around.

Councillor Peter Mullineaux, Leader of South Ribble Borough Council said: “There’s no denying that the council has experienced a difficult 18 months and these figures are a clear reflection of that.

“I’m grateful to staff for being so open and honest in their responses and also for their hard work in continuing to deliver excellent services during these unprecedented times for the authority.

“We asked employees for their views because we are keen to tackle any concerns head on.

“I look forward to meeting with staff to stress my commitment to tackling these issues.”