Staff morale is fine says Wiltshire Council leader

This Is Wiltshire: Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott

Wiltshire Council will conduct no further investigations into staff  morale, despite calls from some councillors for an independent review.

Independent councillor Jeff Osborn led calls for a detailed investigation to be conducted after 252 redundancies were announced last year  and, shortly after, corporate and service directors were awarded pay increases of up to 16 per cent.

Leader Jane Scott rejected the calls at Tuesday’s oversight and scrutiny committee meeting, blaming any low morale on external criticism of the council, and political infighting.

She said: “I talk to probably more staff than anybody in this organisation, and they are fed up with this council being pulled apart in the press and with councillors criticising their work.

“Officers tell me they are doing their best but they feel it’s not good enough when they are getting constant niggles from councillors.

“We are very good at throwing bricks, but not good at giving bouquets.”
Wiltshire Liberal Democrat leader Jon Hubbard  said: “If you look at sickness rates among council staff you’ll see they are actually declining, so I think morale has been improving, rather getting worse.

“There are serious implications to the recent redundancies but I don’t think staff morale is one of them. We don’t want to create a spiral of decline where we are telling our staff their morale is getting worse.”

The committee agreed to take no further action regarding staff morale, and will refer to the regular staff satisfaction surveys produced every 18 months by its staffing committee.

Coun Osborn said: “The evidence we have is somewhat outdated, as the last survey was done in 2012.

“The reason for my request was is I know scrutiny can only operate on an evidence basis, and we asked that we get more up to date evidence.”

Comments (30)

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5:15pm Tue 7 Jan 14

sir roy.orbit of chippenham says...

"“We are very good at throwing bricks, but not good at giving bouquets.”

---------
Well you can afford plenty of each with your over the top pay rise.



We don’t want to create a spiral of decline where we are telling our staff their morale is getting worse.”

--------------
No I'm sure you don't but ignoring the problem won't make it go away. Nobody is going to tell you the truth and risk you sacking them.
"“We are very good at throwing bricks, but not good at giving bouquets.” --------- Well you can afford plenty of each with your over the top pay rise. We don’t want to create a spiral of decline where we are telling our staff their morale is getting worse.” -------------- No I'm sure you don't but ignoring the problem won't make it go away. Nobody is going to tell you the truth and risk you sacking them. sir roy.orbit of chippenham
  • Score: 25

5:41pm Tue 7 Jan 14

frankie007 says...

Could it be that sickness rates are declining because staff are too frightened to be off sick?

Or could they be declining at the same rate as staffing levels?

Funny things statistics.

I'm sure it's a great comfort to all of us that our Jane is happy that staff morale is high.

Don't see many council staff coming on here telling us just how happy they are though. Perhaps the WT could conduct a poll. I wonder if she would allow that?
Could it be that sickness rates are declining because staff are too frightened to be off sick? Or could they be declining at the same rate as staffing levels? Funny things statistics. I'm sure it's a great comfort to all of us that our Jane is happy that staff morale is high. Don't see many council staff coming on here telling us just how happy they are though. Perhaps the WT could conduct a poll. I wonder if she would allow that? frankie007
  • Score: 22

5:51pm Tue 7 Jan 14

redrum says...

Give every staff member a secret card to fill out with no signature, give it to an independent person with no council connection to see the results?
Give every staff member a secret card to fill out with no signature, give it to an independent person with no council connection to see the results? redrum
  • Score: 13

6:34pm Tue 7 Jan 14

AnotherSmithy says...

"Leader Jane Scott rejected the calls at Tuesday’s oversight and scrutiny committee meeting, blaming any low morale on external criticism of the council, and political infighting."

This only enforces the fact that Mrs Scott constantly tries to push the blame for anything away from herself. Surely she can't push her head any further into the sand!

I worked at Wiltshire Council for nearly 10 years (leaving of my own accord it was so bad) and never saw her once! I'm wondering which members of staff she talks to in order to get her so called feedback. Obviously not the ones I know!

Maybe she's hoping that if she ignores this issue it might go away.......I wouldn't hold my breath if I was her.
"Leader Jane Scott rejected the calls at Tuesday’s oversight and scrutiny committee meeting, blaming any low morale on external criticism of the council, and political infighting." This only enforces the fact that Mrs Scott constantly tries to push the blame for anything away from herself. Surely she can't push her head any further into the sand! I worked at Wiltshire Council for nearly 10 years (leaving of my own accord it was so bad) and never saw her once! I'm wondering which members of staff she talks to in order to get her so called feedback. Obviously not the ones I know! Maybe she's hoping that if she ignores this issue it might go away.......I wouldn't hold my breath if I was her. AnotherSmithy
  • Score: 23

7:05pm Tue 7 Jan 14

The.Central.Scrutinizer says...

screw scrutuny
I predictt a mutiny
screw scrutuny I predictt a mutiny The.Central.Scrutinizer
  • Score: 5

8:13pm Tue 7 Jan 14

officer1 says...

Who is this woman trying to fool! She infuriates me.
I work for the council and have done for 13years. It used to be such a cheerful and pleasant work place and I was once proud to work for the council.
The staff morale is at an all time low and clearly this woman (who I also have never seen at my place of work) cannot see it, perhaps as she is busy counting her ever increasing wage packet!
Why doesn't she get herself out of her newly refurbished office and go and speak to the people who supposedly matter.

With regards to Frankie007 comment - yes you are correct, Staff are indeed frightened to be sick.
Who is this woman trying to fool! She infuriates me. I work for the council and have done for 13years. It used to be such a cheerful and pleasant work place and I was once proud to work for the council. The staff morale is at an all time low and clearly this woman (who I also have never seen at my place of work) cannot see it, perhaps as she is busy counting her ever increasing wage packet! Why doesn't she get herself out of her newly refurbished office and go and speak to the people who supposedly matter. With regards to Frankie007 comment - yes you are correct, Staff are indeed frightened to be sick. officer1
  • Score: 29

8:25pm Tue 7 Jan 14

frankie007 says...

Oh dear. Over to you Janey. How about you come & debate it on here?

Of course, that would be beneath you, wouldn't it?
Oh dear. Over to you Janey. How about you come & debate it on here? Of course, that would be beneath you, wouldn't it? frankie007
  • Score: 11

8:46pm Tue 7 Jan 14

corshman says...

How about Jane Scott asking the 252 council workers she made redundant,how happy they were. I bet if she asked her corporate directors if they were happy with the 16% increase they received at the expense of the redundant workers, they would be laughing all the way to the bank. Come Scott do the decent thing and resign, fat chance of that.
How about Jane Scott asking the 252 council workers she made redundant,how happy they were. I bet if she asked her corporate directors if they were happy with the 16% increase they received at the expense of the redundant workers, they would be laughing all the way to the bank. Come Scott do the decent thing and resign, fat chance of that. corshman
  • Score: 11

9:31pm Tue 7 Jan 14

officer1 says...

She said: “I talk to probably more staff than anybody in this organisation, "
Via her PA through weekly bulletins! As a council employee I wouldn't even know how to contact her

However on a plus side our incremental rises within our pay grade which have been frozen for the last 3 years are now happening. I predict this decision was made feeling slightly guilty.
She said: “I talk to probably more staff than anybody in this organisation, " Via her PA through weekly bulletins! As a council employee I wouldn't even know how to contact her However on a plus side our incremental rises within our pay grade which have been frozen for the last 3 years are now happening. I predict this decision was made feeling slightly guilty. officer1
  • Score: 12

11:14pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Mrs Donnyfly says...

redrum wrote:
Give every staff member a secret card to fill out with no signature, give it to an independent person with no council connection to see the results?
What a brilliant idea redrum! Perhaps we could give the process a name... I don't know, something like secret ballot maybe.
[quote][p][bold]redrum[/bold] wrote: Give every staff member a secret card to fill out with no signature, give it to an independent person with no council connection to see the results?[/p][/quote]What a brilliant idea redrum! Perhaps we could give the process a name... I don't know, something like secret ballot maybe. Mrs Donnyfly
  • Score: 0

9:43am Wed 8 Jan 14

shed says...

do something about it sign the petition and get rid of this wretched woman

https://you.38degree
s.org.uk/petitions/r
esignation-of-leader
-and-cabinet-of-wilt
shire-council
do something about it sign the petition and get rid of this wretched woman https://you.38degree s.org.uk/petitions/r esignation-of-leader -and-cabinet-of-wilt shire-council shed
  • Score: 9

9:56am Wed 8 Jan 14

brasstacks says...

Dear Ms Scott, I would suggest that you talk ASAP to the REAL Staff at the Council and STOP talking about everything with your Political Cabinet ?
As someone who REVELS in getting her photo in the Media, you CANNOT have it both ways and... Residents, front line Staff and non Conservative Councillors are fed up with your obsession in running the Council like your own little "empire"..
You and your Conservative Team are paid by us to listen and we ALL have as much right to go to the Press as you do ..
"External critisism" of the Council IS justified and you would be best to remember that Democracy gives ALL your Councillors and Residential "subjects" and Staff the RIGHT to ask questions of the way that you are "ruling"OUR Council..
Wiltshire Council IS the Peoples and NOT the Conservative Party's..
Dear Ms Scott, I would suggest that you talk ASAP to the REAL Staff at the Council and STOP talking about everything with your Political Cabinet ? As someone who REVELS in getting her photo in the Media, you CANNOT have it both ways and... Residents, front line Staff and non Conservative Councillors are fed up with your obsession in running the Council like your own little "empire".. You and your Conservative Team are paid by us to listen and we ALL have as much right to go to the Press as you do .. "External critisism" of the Council IS justified and you would be best to remember that Democracy gives ALL your Councillors and Residential "subjects" and Staff the RIGHT to ask questions of the way that you are "ruling"OUR Council.. Wiltshire Council IS the Peoples and NOT the Conservative Party's.. brasstacks
  • Score: 13

1:08pm Wed 8 Jan 14

The.Central.Scrutinizer says...

She said: “I talk to probably more staff than anybody in this organisation"

An unsubstantiated claim which is probably nonsense.
In any case those she talks to are certainly not a representatve sample of all staff
She said: “I talk to probably more staff than anybody in this organisation" An unsubstantiated claim which is probably nonsense. In any case those she talks to are certainly not a representatve sample of all staff The.Central.Scrutinizer
  • Score: 13

6:05pm Wed 8 Jan 14

frankie007 says...

How come this is no longer on the most commented list?

Surely not pressure from she who must be obeyed?
How come this is no longer on the most commented list? Surely not pressure from she who must be obeyed? frankie007
  • Score: 9

8:08pm Wed 8 Jan 14

gingin says...

AnotherSmithy wrote:
"Leader Jane Scott rejected the calls at Tuesday’s oversight and scrutiny committee meeting, blaming any low morale on external criticism of the council, and political infighting."

This only enforces the fact that Mrs Scott constantly tries to push the blame for anything away from herself. Surely she can't push her head any further into the sand!

I worked at Wiltshire Council for nearly 10 years (leaving of my own accord it was so bad) and never saw her once! I'm wondering which members of staff she talks to in order to get her so called feedback. Obviously not the ones I know!

Maybe she's hoping that if she ignores this issue it might go away.......I wouldn't hold my breath if I was her.
Pushing her head up her own backside more to the point. I met her once with others to speak about post office closures> what a smug old bag she is, spoke to us as if we were a bunch of country bumpkins!

It would be better for everyone if she just resigned and got out of the way. When will she realise it is not the empire of Jane Scott but a public body run on public money and the public are not one bit happy with her or her Tory cronies!
[quote][p][bold]AnotherSmithy[/bold] wrote: "Leader Jane Scott rejected the calls at Tuesday’s oversight and scrutiny committee meeting, blaming any low morale on external criticism of the council, and political infighting." This only enforces the fact that Mrs Scott constantly tries to push the blame for anything away from herself. Surely she can't push her head any further into the sand! I worked at Wiltshire Council for nearly 10 years (leaving of my own accord it was so bad) and never saw her once! I'm wondering which members of staff she talks to in order to get her so called feedback. Obviously not the ones I know! Maybe she's hoping that if she ignores this issue it might go away.......I wouldn't hold my breath if I was her.[/p][/quote]Pushing her head up her own backside more to the point. I met her once with others to speak about post office closures> what a smug old bag she is, spoke to us as if we were a bunch of country bumpkins! It would be better for everyone if she just resigned and got out of the way. When will she realise it is not the empire of Jane Scott but a public body run on public money and the public are not one bit happy with her or her Tory cronies! gingin
  • Score: 12

12:19am Thu 9 Jan 14

brasstacks says...

I know what "gingin" means cause I once e mailed Jane Scott to ask for her help and I got a reply from her secretary saying:

"jane has asked me to tell you that because she is a Conservative, she cannot help with with any matter that concerns a different Political Party" ....

OMG.....is that "discrimination" or what ??!!.....

It confirms without any doubt that we ARE right...Ms Scott IS doing the job for the WRONG reasons......
I know what "gingin" means cause I once e mailed Jane Scott to ask for her help and I got a reply from her secretary saying: "jane has asked me to tell you that because she is a Conservative, she cannot help with with any matter that concerns a different Political Party" .... OMG.....is that "discrimination" or what ??!!..... It confirms without any doubt that we ARE right...Ms Scott IS doing the job for the WRONG reasons...... brasstacks
  • Score: 7

1:35am Thu 9 Jan 14

beetawix says...

No need for personal attacks folks.
it is the lowest form of protest.
smear campaigns are stupid and get in the way of sensible argument.
No need for personal attacks folks. it is the lowest form of protest. smear campaigns are stupid and get in the way of sensible argument. beetawix
  • Score: -7

7:53am Thu 9 Jan 14

Highways68 says...

"If you happy and you know it clap your hands".............s
adly the only sounds of clapping hands that have been ring around County Hall and other offices over the past few months are the applauded leaving speeches of our collegues lost in the cull. Jane, do you ever read these comms team prepared quotes you make to the press? More to the point if you do, do you actually believe them?

How about actually venturing into some of the areas of County Hall that you haven't seen since your pre-opening guided "royal" tours back in 2012, it would be lovely to see you, Carlton and co. Try actually speaking with some of the "real" staff working a crazy amount of unpaid, unrecognised hours to keep this Authority working. Try actually listening to what Council employees have to say, after all most of us are Wiltshire council tax payers as well as employees.

I'm sure that your PA or FM would be able to find a sack trolley to tow the crate of Moet along so you could all toast our "fine" morale, that or a bucket of sand to bury your heads in.
"If you happy and you know it clap your hands".............s adly the only sounds of clapping hands that have been ring around County Hall and other offices over the past few months are the applauded leaving speeches of our collegues lost in the cull. Jane, do you ever read these comms team prepared quotes you make to the press? More to the point if you do, do you actually believe them? How about actually venturing into some of the areas of County Hall that you haven't seen since your pre-opening guided "royal" tours back in 2012, it would be lovely to see you, Carlton and co. Try actually speaking with some of the "real" staff working a crazy amount of unpaid, unrecognised hours to keep this Authority working. Try actually listening to what Council employees have to say, after all most of us are Wiltshire council tax payers as well as employees. I'm sure that your PA or FM would be able to find a sack trolley to tow the crate of Moet along so you could all toast our "fine" morale, that or a bucket of sand to bury your heads in. Highways68
  • Score: 18

10:26am Thu 9 Jan 14

frankie007 says...

Maybe the WT could issue an invitation to the council employee who's morale is high to come on here & tell us how great it is to work there.

I've had dealings with a few lately & have yet to meet him/her.
Maybe the WT could issue an invitation to the council employee who's morale is high to come on here & tell us how great it is to work there. I've had dealings with a few lately & have yet to meet him/her. frankie007
  • Score: 6

12:48pm Thu 9 Jan 14

chrisbizarre says...

Highways68, Is it time to stop doing all the extra unpaid work that you and your colleagues do for the council?
Highways68, Is it time to stop doing all the extra unpaid work that you and your colleagues do for the council? chrisbizarre
  • Score: 8

1:56pm Thu 9 Jan 14

frankie007 says...

Just a thought. if morale amongst my staff (when I had some) had been described as "Fine" I would have been concerned & started looking for answers.
If I told my wife she looked "Fine", I'd be sleeping in the car.

Yet "Fine" would seem to be acceptable for Jane when it comes to her staff.
Just a thought. if morale amongst my staff (when I had some) had been described as "Fine" I would have been concerned & started looking for answers. If I told my wife she looked "Fine", I'd be sleeping in the car. Yet "Fine" would seem to be acceptable for Jane when it comes to her staff. frankie007
  • Score: 7

6:38pm Thu 9 Jan 14

TowerHouse says...

I think the core issue is - less staff doing more work than when there once were more staff equals stressed staff. If they do not genuinely feel valued and are not properly rewarded - at all lower levels of the organisation as well as those wealthy ones at the top - then morale is bound to fall. This is not rocket science. Who is anyone trying to kid?
I think the core issue is - less staff doing more work than when there once were more staff equals stressed staff. If they do not genuinely feel valued and are not properly rewarded - at all lower levels of the organisation as well as those wealthy ones at the top - then morale is bound to fall. This is not rocket science. Who is anyone trying to kid? TowerHouse
  • Score: 8

7:04pm Thu 9 Jan 14

farmer giles78 says...

HO Ho Ho what planet are you on Lady ???
HO Ho Ho what planet are you on Lady ??? farmer giles78
  • Score: 4

4:29pm Fri 10 Jan 14

brandx says...

I doubt if there are any morale problems amongst the Conservative Leadership and Senior Officers at County Hall. After all their massive increases in Members' Allowances and Salaries can be very soothing.

But such inceases are causing disgust and contempt amkongst the ordinay folk.

It seems that the emergency meeting to scrap the increase in members' allowances is definitely going ahead on 4th February. Also the petition calling for resignation of Leader Scott and her Cabinet will presented on same day.

Encourage more people to sign the petition.

This issue will not go away. Until the grabbers go away.
I doubt if there are any morale problems amongst the Conservative Leadership and Senior Officers at County Hall. After all their massive increases in Members' Allowances and Salaries can be very soothing. But such inceases are causing disgust and contempt amkongst the ordinay folk. It seems that the emergency meeting to scrap the increase in members' allowances is definitely going ahead on 4th February. Also the petition calling for resignation of Leader Scott and her Cabinet will presented on same day. Encourage more people to sign the petition. This issue will not go away. Until the grabbers go away. brandx
  • Score: 6

4:33pm Fri 10 Jan 14

frankie007 says...

No longer in the most commented or most read now, have to go to history.

Has the editor got a sore tongue & a brown stain on his nose?
No longer in the most commented or most read now, have to go to history. Has the editor got a sore tongue & a brown stain on his nose? frankie007
  • Score: 3

10:39pm Fri 10 Jan 14

shed says...

brasstacks wrote:
I know what "gingin" means cause I once e mailed Jane Scott to ask for her help and I got a reply from her secretary saying:

"jane has asked me to tell you that because she is a Conservative, she cannot help with with any matter that concerns a different Political Party" ....

OMG.....is that "discrimination" or what ??!!.....

It confirms without any doubt that we ARE right...Ms Scott IS doing the job for the WRONG reasons......
Am I the only one to find that remark by Jane Scott very disturbing indeed?

I thought she was meant to work for everyone in Wiltshire, not just her Tory cronies.

But then I remembered she was 'selected' not 'elected'...
democracy in non action, will they rename County hall the Reichstag soon?

come on keep signing the petition

https://you.38degree

s.org.uk/petitions/r

esignation-of-leader

-and-cabinet-of-wilt

shire-council
[quote][p][bold]brasstacks[/bold] wrote: I know what "gingin" means cause I once e mailed Jane Scott to ask for her help and I got a reply from her secretary saying: "jane has asked me to tell you that because she is a Conservative, she cannot help with with any matter that concerns a different Political Party" .... OMG.....is that "discrimination" or what ??!!..... It confirms without any doubt that we ARE right...Ms Scott IS doing the job for the WRONG reasons......[/p][/quote]Am I the only one to find that remark by Jane Scott very disturbing indeed? I thought she was meant to work for everyone in Wiltshire, not just her Tory cronies. But then I remembered she was 'selected' not 'elected'... democracy in non action, will they rename County hall the Reichstag soon? come on keep signing the petition https://you.38degree s.org.uk/petitions/r esignation-of-leader -and-cabinet-of-wilt shire-council shed
  • Score: 5

11:31am Sat 11 Jan 14

shed says...

In 2011-2012 period Jane Scott claimed £47,103,46p expenses.

Thats almost £1000 a week. What does she spend it on?

Total councillors expenses for the same period
£1,638,722,35p

That a lot of potholes filled, or staff wages

get signing that petition, WCC is rotten at the top.
In 2011-2012 period Jane Scott claimed £47,103,46p expenses. Thats almost £1000 a week. What does she spend it on? Total councillors expenses for the same period £1,638,722,35p That a lot of potholes filled, or staff wages get signing that petition, WCC is rotten at the top. shed
  • Score: 9

5:25pm Sat 11 Jan 14

loosewoman says...

This is just par for the course from Jane Scott. I've worked for the Council for more than 10 years, I've seen valued colleagues forced into redundancy, their work they've done dismissed as unnecessary, while those still left in their jobs have to do more and more work, become more and more stressed, and the services the Council provides are far worse as a result. She and her fellow Tories are expert at putting a positive spin on everything, but speak to any employees and you get a completely different story. We're fed up with being treated as morons, our valid concerns dismissed, having to apologize to the public for the inferior service we're providing and above all we're tired of being lied to. Inside her cosy, expenses-paid bubble, all is well in Jane Scott's world. We who know better beg to differ. Please, vote this shower out of office at the next election!
This is just par for the course from Jane Scott. I've worked for the Council for more than 10 years, I've seen valued colleagues forced into redundancy, their work they've done dismissed as unnecessary, while those still left in their jobs have to do more and more work, become more and more stressed, and the services the Council provides are far worse as a result. She and her fellow Tories are expert at putting a positive spin on everything, but speak to any employees and you get a completely different story. We're fed up with being treated as morons, our valid concerns dismissed, having to apologize to the public for the inferior service we're providing and above all we're tired of being lied to. Inside her cosy, expenses-paid bubble, all is well in Jane Scott's world. We who know better beg to differ. Please, vote this shower out of office at the next election! loosewoman
  • Score: 12

1:01pm Mon 13 Jan 14

brandx says...

County Hall have officially closed this issue down by refusing to allow an independent survey on staff morale. Instead they came up with outdated council generated statistics which many staff distrust. With yet more redundancies to come, increased work loads and growing inequality in income levels, morale remains a major problem. Talk to any of the real County Hall workers and you will discover the truth.
County Hall have officially closed this issue down by refusing to allow an independent survey on staff morale. Instead they came up with outdated council generated statistics which many staff distrust. With yet more redundancies to come, increased work loads and growing inequality in income levels, morale remains a major problem. Talk to any of the real County Hall workers and you will discover the truth. brandx
  • Score: 3

6:12pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Fcman1 says...

brandx wrote:
County Hall have officially closed this issue down by refusing to allow an independent survey on staff morale. Instead they came up with outdated council generated statistics which many staff distrust. With yet more redundancies to come, increased work loads and growing inequality in income levels, morale remains a major problem. Talk to any of the real County Hall workers and you will discover the truth.
I total agree with brandx, living with an employee of Wiltshire Council and with several others as friends i can voucher for the fact that morale is low but they all feel that they have to keep their mouths shut or lose their job. Levels of sickness due to stress and depression are climbing even if the council want to deny the figures.
[quote][p][bold]brandx[/bold] wrote: County Hall have officially closed this issue down by refusing to allow an independent survey on staff morale. Instead they came up with outdated council generated statistics which many staff distrust. With yet more redundancies to come, increased work loads and growing inequality in income levels, morale remains a major problem. Talk to any of the real County Hall workers and you will discover the truth.[/p][/quote]I total agree with brandx, living with an employee of Wiltshire Council and with several others as friends i can voucher for the fact that morale is low but they all feel that they have to keep their mouths shut or lose their job. Levels of sickness due to stress and depression are climbing even if the council want to deny the figures. Fcman1
  • Score: 0

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