Code of conduct to stop Walsall Council staff abusing politicians
A new code of conduct designed to stop Walsall Council staff abusing politicians on social media has been agreed.
The authority unanimously agreed to an amended constitution which sets out guidelines on how employees are expected to conduct themselves and making it clear they are accountable for their actions.
The catalyst for the changes was the local election campaign in May, following which Walsall Council leader Mike Bird revealed “unacceptable” personal attacks had been carried out members by their own employees.
He warned: “Our message to staff is very clear, if you want to work for Walsall Council you have to play by the rules. If not, I suggest they look for employment elsewhere.”
At a full council meeting on Monday, the new code of conduct was unanimously agreed.
Walsall Labour group leader Aftab Nawaz said: “The new code of conduct is welcomed and we obviously support it.
“There have been some cases where we have employees criticise councillors for making decisions.
“I’ve never been too concerned about it really because if the employee lives in Walsall and a decision affects their life then if they comment on it, I think that is fine.
“Personal abuse is the one thing we all need to work together to stop. Nobody has the right to abuse anyone and nobody has put themselves forward to take such abuse and we need to stamp that out.
“The fact that employees who work for a reputable organisation should know better than to abuse people online and when that is happening, we are totally supportive of the person suffering.
“Nobody should have that. My own view is I’ve always been against people criticising officers of the council because they aren’t the policy makers.
“Criticising councillors for the policies they make is fine and fair game but attacking them personally is wrong.
“I would hope that I’ve actually personally lived up to that ideal of criticising policies and records and future plans rather than criticising the person.”