0 Council learns costly lesson over sacking

Civic chiefs in Shaftesbury have pledged to learn the lessons of the town council's unfair dismissal of its head groundsman and move on.

Councillors at full council this week voted for recommendations made from the findings of a report into the sacking of Joe Hashman.

A summary of the long-awaited report by employment solicitor Gill Fribbance was handed to Shaftesbury residents gathered at the meeting.

The former groundsman won separate claims against the council for injury in the workplace and unfair dismissal. The total amount awarded to Mr Hashman is thought to be around £20,000.

Councillors are still uncertain if the compensation paid for Mr Hashman's sacking will be covered by the authority's insurance policy.

Stuart Caundle, North Dorset District Council's monitoring officer, put forward a list of recommendations to councillors in a bid to learn the lessons of the Hashman affair.

The local governance expert flagged up on-going risks to the council of a failure to move on from the debacle and to act as a corporate body.

Councillors voted to accept the findings of the report, and backed a range of recommendations drafted to avoid further costly grievance cases.

Specalist training for members dealing with staffing issues and future consultations with an employment lawyer over disciplinary matters were given the thumbs-up.

New procedures for delegation of responsibility will be drawn up, and protocols considered to formalise the relationship between the town clerk, the mayor and the council.

A recommendation to apologise to Mr Hashman had already been adopted, said councillors, referring to a statement made by town mayor Cllr Winifred Harvey at a recent public meeting.

source:- Daily Echo

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