STANDARDS COMPLAINT - CLLRS ELING & MARSHALL
1 With regard to Cllr Eling alone - on the night of the election (8th June, 2017) I was a lawful guest at the count at Tipton when I was subjected to a tirade of verbal abuse by Cllr Eling’s wife. Cllr Eling then joined in saying “watch out of she will punch you on the nose and WE will tell the police you provoked her.” I took this to be a direct physical threat and also a threat to make a false allegation to the police to cause trouble for me and I left the main room (where I was legally entitled to be) for a period of time. This was wholly unacceptable conduct and it should be noted that Cllr Eling seemed oblivious to the fact that a number of SMBC employees were present working on the count.
2 With regard to both Cllrs Eling and Marshall, on 29th June, 2016 the two Councillors met me in The Windsor Pub Birmingham where they asked me to use my blog and social media to attack other Councillors - particularly Cllrs Hussain and Ian Jones. Whilst the discussion was primarily of a party political nature (although I am not, of course, a member of The Labour Party) Cllr Eling also disclosed confidential (and possibly commercially sensitive) information concerning the Council’s affairs eg Cllr Eling assured me that the planned ice rink in West Bromwich would not be going ahead although it was sometime before any official announcement was made of this.
3 Following the pub meeting, Cllrs Eling and Marshall sent me a considerable amount of information via a Whats App account in the name of Richard Marshall and via Cllr Eling’s personal email account. Again, this had a party political element but also included derogatory comments about SMBC employees, the disclosure of confidential information about employees eg that Assistant Melanie Dudley faced disciplinary action BEFORE a formal meeting with her, derogatory comments concerning travellers, libellous and obscene comments about fellow councillors (in their own parties), wild allegations about certain members of the public and information that they were arranging to sack numerous employees on the basis of their alleged allegiances rather than in accordance with any failures in performance.
A non-exclusive list of communications follows:
18/08/16 The two Councillors invite me to give Assistant Chief Executive Melanie Dudley “a kicking” via my blog and social media. This is highly unusual when two top councillors are inviting a third party to attack and harass a senior employee in their own Council. The Code of Conduct specifically forbids bullying and here we have a particularly egregious example (and see further below.)
21/08/16 - disclosure that land at the rear of Lodge St being considered for a transient site (they later made a joke about travellers shitting in the gardens there - 13/09/16.) They encouraged me to disclose this on social media and then joked that this caused disquiet to the Chief Executive and extra work for the press office who were ordered to prepare a rebuttal.
01/09/16 - I was encouraged to put in a Freedom of Information request to their own Council to embarrass a fellow (Labour) Councillor even though this would have obviously meant the cost of officers in replying to same.
03/09/16 Cllrs Eling and Marshall encouraged me to attack an employee via social media: “Want to poke MD [Melanie Dudley] with a sharp stick again?” before providing information about her which was not directly relevant to her employment.
On the same date they stated that Ms Dudley was likely to be placed on gardening leave BEFORE a formal meeting was held with her.
06/09/16 They informed me that Ms Dudley had been sent home to consider her position, that she was considering her options and may not return. This was disclosure of highly confidential information about a senior employee.
07/09/16 The two Councillors asked me to attack Ms Dudley, a senior employee, via social media. They did this again on 08/09/16.
13/09/16 Eling and Marshall were anxious that I used social media to say that a meeting had been cancelled by Cllr Eling and to spread rumours why this was.
Later they said that Ms Dudley was responsible for a whitewash report - “It was Imelda that did the report” and that this was “the straw that broke the camel’s back” which led to Cllr Eling deciding to dismiss her. Again this was highly confidential information disclosed before matters were finalised. Had I chosen to put this information in the public domain at that stage it could have had serious legal consequences for the Council.
13/09/16 The two Councillors disclosed that they were sacking employees and did so in derogatory terms - “we’ve just got to throw the shit overboard.”
22/09/16 Cllrs Eling and Marshall engaged in a long-running campaign against Cllrs Hussain, Ian Jones and others encouraging me to attack them via The Sandwell Skidder blog and social media. It is clear from their written comments that they also used Council officers to attempt - seemingly unsuccessfully, to pursue their vendetta eg:
Cllr Marshall told me on 22/09/16 “I spent an hour with the temp Monitoring Officer yesterday going through the Jones web of corruption, the blood drained from his face with every new revelation. He says he has 2 rottweilers in his fraud team and is going to release them. Hopefully they will find evidence of what I’ve passed to him.”
27/09/16 An allegation is made by the two councillors that a Councillor has been in a long term relationship with a very senior employee (both parties vehemently deny this. Whilst this was partly a party political smear it also (falsely) impugned the reputation of a very senior employee.
28/09/16 The two Councillors are seemingly attempting to dismiss staff solely on the basis of being related to Cllr Husssain: “we think he may have up to five members of his family in Council we are trying to weed them out.” One aspect of the code of conduct is not acting in a manner that causes disadvantage to others but here Cllrs Eling and Marshall are apparently seeking to remove the livelihoods of people without evidence of wrongdoing and due process. Presumably they are using Jan Britton’s services to do the culling ie taxpayer-funded employees to pursue their vendetta. (Ironically, Cllr Marshall’s own niece works for SMBC.)
01/10/16 I was informed that senior employee Adrian Scarrott was to be dismissed prior to any public announcement.
08/10/16 This is the date of the notorious and obscene attack on Cllrs Ian Jones, Olwen Jones and Maria Crompton. Whilst much of the abusive conduct of Cllrs Eling and Marshall was for party political purpose their behaviour here was sexist, libellous and so gross that it has brought the reputation of the Council into even further disrepute. They believed that four Councillors were on holiday together when this was not, in fact, correct - the two couples were both in Tenerife but at different resorts. Cllrs Eling and Marshall envisaged Cllr Crompton in a bikini and that Cllr Jones would “spunk” over her as that would be preferable to having sexual intercourse with his own wife, Cllr Olwen Jones. They then encouraged me to publicly attack the four councillors concerned - or “them twats” as they called them - via social media.
18/10/16 Cllrs Eling and Marshall again disclose confidential information suggesting an unnamed manager had put his career at risk by giving evidence on behalf of Cllr Hussain’s son who was employed by SMBC. If action was taken against the employee this sounds like a breach of the requirement to respect the impartiality and integrity of employees.
26/10/16 The Cllrs state that Cllr Lloyd is “under scrutiny” and this has caused him to be removed from the Chair at Murray Hall Community Trust.
28/10/16 I assume that the code of conduct reference to treating people with respect also applies to other councillors? On this date Eling and Marshall referred to Cllr Frear as a “tossa” [sic] and encouraged me to attack him via the blog and social media: “Any shite you wish to sling at Frear, now would be a good time, he’s feeling v v vulnerable.”
28/10/16 They fed me information concerning alleged criminal activity by a Councillor (further information available by private communication.)
28/10/16 Cllrs Eling and Marshall informed me that Cllr Frear was to lose his job as Chair of Planning.
02/11/16 The two Cllrs used SMBC staff to contact their counterparts in Birmingham in an effort to find certain specified information concerning Cllr Zahoor Ahmed (presumably with the connivance of Mr Jan Britton). In other words, they sought to use taxpayer-funded staff to further their ends in a party political matter. (Birmingham City Council seem to be better run and refused to supply the information sought.)
10/11/16 An allegation was made that Pat Collins Funfair were engaged with others in a social media campaign against the Council. I understand that Cllr Marshall has been very heavily involved (being copied in on staff emails etc) in the award of contracts for funfairs but this comment suggests he and Eling were biased against one operator.
18/11/16 Cllrs Eling and Marshall claim that they have somehow got private and confidential information from within the DWP that a named councillor was being investigated for benefit fraud. This may constitute illegal activity. It is not clear whether they obtained this highly confidential information directly or whether Mr Jan Britton had his staff help them again.
06/12/16 Eling and Marshall state explicitly that a land sale via sealed bids to Cllr Hussain’s son was rigged in that three underbids were all from members of the Hussain family. I am encouraged to attack Cllr Hussain via the blog and social media. To date, no corroborative information has been put in the public domain by SMBC with regard to this. If it is not true then the allegation is malicious and intended to cause harm.
12/01/17 I am sent the car registration number of a Councillor whom Cllrs Eling and Marshall believe is living outside the Borough (somewhat ironic noting Cllr Eling’s personal circumstances.) They want me to try and locate an address.
12/01/17 Cllr Marshall makes a disgusting remark about an allegedly transgender partner of a Councillor: “Do you know he’s got a cock in a frock”. This is discriminatory conduct relating to a person’s gender.
12/01/17 Cllrs Eling and Marshall attack the sister of Cllr Jones - making derogatory remarks about her appearance and twice calling her “vile”. More gross disrespect of a member of the public.
14/01/17 Yet another breach of confidentiality in that Eling and Marshall state that: “Officers [dealing with taxi matters] will only just be being hauled over the coals on Monday morning.”
14/01/17 The two Cllrs confirm a story that a female employee was promoted beyond her abilities by having sexual intercourse with a senior employee (names can be supplied by private communication.) Marshall further stated “they were both on my to go list from the off” suggesting he and Eling, rather than the Chief Executive, were driving recruitment and disciplinary policy within the Council and that they were acting in a biased manner rather than an objective one to the obvious detriment of employees. I understand both employees have, indeed, now left the Council’s employment.
18/01/17 Eling and Marshall state “we have had to force the release of this [the Wragge Report]. This accords with what Cllr Marshall told me verbally in telephone conversations that he and Eling were desperate to have the report released in an effort to “finish off” Cllr Hussain.
19/01/17 The two Councillors exhorted be to attack Adrian Bailey MP and Cllr Bawa via social media and my blog concerning their involvement in a CPO.
20/01/17 Eling and Marshall claim that they have uncovered various dodgy house deals concerning Cllr Rouf’s family. On the same date they supply an address possibly linked to Cllr Hussain.
26/01/17 Cllrs Eling and Marshall attack SMBC staff again stating “as its now been proven that officers grossly undervalued other sites….” This information is presumably confidential as I am not aware of SMBC putting it in the public domain.
28/03/17 The two councillors encourage me to attack a Councillor by writing about an alleged affair with a very senior employee. A scurrilous attack on both.
29/03/17 A wild allegation is made that a Mr Afzal Hussain has been buying into leases on the Chance Glass site and another claim that he was connected with a another site. No information has been forthcoming to support these threats. The two councillors were anxious to find links between this Mr Hussain and Councillor Hussain.
01/04/17 Cllrs Eling and Marshall inform me that Cllr Linda Horton reported my forthcoming “Corruptour” with the police at a town meeting.
05/04/17 The two councillors again encourage me to put in a Freedom of Information request to their own Council in an effort to harm Cllrs Ian and Olwen Jones concerning Wednesbury Celebrates.
06/05/17 Cllrs Eling and Marshall forward to me the statement given by Adrian Bailey MP in the High Court action between Cllr Hussain and SMBC BEFORE the case has been decided. Another gross breach of confidence.
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