The Grievance Report – finally released

See below for

The Grievance Report

A brief synopsis!

This website began as a way to speak out against the deplorable acts committed by a serving member of Melbourn Parish Council, against staff whom he bullied, intimidated and threatened.

Melbourn Parish Council agreed to have these accusations investigated with the help and support of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Association of Local Councils (CAPALC).

Following a lengthy investigation by this ‘independent’ committee, they found the council member guilty of a number of the accusations laid against him.

On 16th May 2016, the Parish Council held an Extraordinary meeting (in-camera) to discuss the Grievance Report. In less than 20 minutes the majority on the council agreed not to publish a document that had taken weeks to compile. It was also announced that during that meeting the Grievance report had “already been passed on to a member of the public”.

On the 15th June 2016, a letter ‘A Question to the council? (click here) ’ was sent to the local newspapers. It was also sent to the Parish Council on the 21st June 2016 to be included as an agenda item at the full council meeting held on the 27th June 2016. It was published in the Royston Crow on 30th June 2016.

At a council meeting held on 27th June 2016 (council minutes – click here), the Parish Council discussed the Grievance report, this meeting was chaired by the Chairman of the Parish Council Bob Tulloch. During the meeting, it was made very clear that the council intended to keep the Grievance report hidden from the general public, there were even threats if the very name of the document was mentioned.

It was later revealed that the Parish Council Chairman Bob Tulloch had made substantial changes to the minutes of the meeting held on the 27th June 2016, contrary to the rules of a serving member of a public authority and the original council minutes (click here) were later published. See pages 5 and 6 of the minutes.

On 25th July 2016 the council held the full Council meeting at Melbourn Village College which was attended by approximately 150 residents. On the agenda the Grievance report. This meeting was again chaired by the Chairman of the Parish Council Bob Tulloch. The meeting was recorded and transcribed (click here) and could only be described as farcical.

Since the meeting held on 25th July 2016, there has been a constant flow of opinion on what the Grievance report stood for.

A number of people have admitted they have read the document and there has been a barrage of public comments; “this story is all made up”; “the person behind the alleged troubles would never do such a thing”; “the two behind the complaints were manipulative”; “dishonest”; “spiteful”; “Their arguments were full of holes”; “Their only aim, was nothing more than an attempt to embarrass and ruin the reputation of a good person”; “The whole document was nothing but a pack of lies”.

There were threats of legal action using “substantial funds available, should anyone reveal the contents of this document”. Even the new Parish Council were not immune, they received threats from lawyers should the document become public.

Yet, it appears that it was ok to discuss the document openly, as long as you are a friend and supporter of the person behind the troubles and you talk about how unfair the situation is.

Well, today (26th October 2017) is the first time the document can be legally seen by the public.

So how on earth did all these people profess to know so much about a document that was supposedly secret, that had the threat of litigation hanging over it?

Before we move on to the actual document, it is worth looking at some very important details.

‘All lies’? During the public meeting on 25th July 2016, following a question by a councillor, the Chairman of the Grievance panel agreed the Chairman admitted during the inquiry, that two of the accusations made against him were true. These admissions can be seen in the document. Not all lies then!

The Grievance report is primarily about bullying and intimidation and in any walk of life that is unacceptable, no matter who they are. The Parish Councils own Governance Tool Kit defines bullying as; inappropriate behaviour; intimidation / humiliation; excessive criticism; autocratic / dictatorial behaviour; shouting; expressions of intolerance; general discourtesy. By his own admission, the former Chairman crossed the line.

There has been a great deal of talk that suggests the troubles that befell the Parish Council, began because of a clash of personalities. The egos of two former ‘best friends’, who had a falling out and their own self-importance allowed others to suffer for the mayhem they caused. If so, the person behind these troubles must shoulder a greater level of responsibility for what has gone on, but others must look to themselves for the way this turned out.

As for the person who took the Parish Council down this road of chaos, ironically, it’s the worst kept secret in the village you might just as well have put his name on Social media from the outset.

However, for those who are still not aware of the name, it is the former Chairman of Melbourn Parish Council Bob Tulloch.

The First-Tier Tribunal document produced by a legal body (part of the court system of the UK and administered by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service) clearly looked at the facts, not the hearsay we have heard so often around the village. They highlighted a number of important legal issues created by this situation, committed by a serving member of a public office**.

Whilst the Grievance Report was being discussed by the Parish Council during various meetings, the Chairman felt it was acceptable to be involved with all the discussions that pertained to him, even Chairing the very public (Monday 25th July – recording) meeting that was dedicated almost entirely to the Grievance Report, contrary to the rules of local government.

“The Chair of a Council has, using his role as chair, controlled the receipt of a report critical of him and caused it to be rejected in a private session of the Council. This was misconduct of a councillor of considerable gravity.

“At the time the request was made the report had been taken to two Council meetings and, according to the evidence in the bundle, on neither occasion had it been properly considered. On both occasions the Chairman of the Council had most improperly remained in the chair of the meeting to influence the proceedings in his own interests.

“Councillor Tulloch stated that Members will now go into camera and debate the report at which point Members will decide if the document should become public or not”. Councillor Tulloch the then Chairman remained at the table and was involved in the discussion

Councillor Tulloch failed to leave the chair when the council debated a report about them in closed session

Quotes above are taken from the First-Tier Tribunal document.

Yet again one person cannot shoulder all the blame (most of it, yes), those on the council that clearly knew the rules, should have said something for they were complicit in this particular wrong-doing.

**Misconduct in public office is an offence at common law triable only on indictment. It carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. It is an offence confined to those who are public office holders and is committed when the office holder acts (or fails to act) in a way that constitutes a breach of the duties of that office.
Definition of the offence: wilfully neglects to perform his duty and/or wilfully misconducts himself; to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder; without reasonable excuse or justification.

Was it really worth the mayhem and friction? What was achieved, apart from making the Parish Council and those that served on it a laughing stock.

I leave it to the readers to decide if this was the way the Chairman of a Parish Council and his fellow councillors should have behaved.

On a brighter note, they did at least win ‘Council of the month’ in August 2016!!

Click here to read

The Grievance Report



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.