Tue, 30 Jun 2015
THE former chief executive of Newbury Town Council resigned because he felt the organisation didn’t do enough to help protect him from being “bullied and intimidated”, he told an employment tribunal in Reading last week.
Representing himself at the two-day hearing, Graham Hunt said that the council failed to follow the correct processes after he complained about the conduct of its then deputy leader Ruwan Uduwerage-Perera.
Mr Hunt, who is claiming unfair dismissal for breach of contract, told the tribunal that Mr Uduwerage-Perera had launched an attack on him after learning of the council’s failure to trigger an insurance claim in its legal case with Costain.
However, the town council’s barrister, Bianca Huggins, said that the council had followed its grievance procedures correctly and had done everything in its power to resolve the problem.
Mr Hunt told the tribunal how the incident, at Newbury Town Hall on May 29 last year, was “the worst day in my 33 years of employment” and described how it had left him stressed and in a “state of disrepair”.
He said that Mr Uduwerage-Perera’s behaviour had been in breach of the council’s dignity at work policy and that the council, as a statutory body, was therefore liable for breach of contract.
However, Miss Huggins disputed that claim, saying that the council had no power to remove an elected member and that the council had acted in accordance with its policies.
For the full story, pick up a copy of this week's Newbury Weekly News.