Threshold: action taken after review
DISCUSSIONS are taking place with a key figure who is poised to lead an independent review of Swindon charity Threshold Housing Link.
A row broke out after two street outreach workers were suspended last month over a series of claims they made in the Adver.
James Derieg and Tony Niester spoke out to allege a range of problems with governance, disciplinary procedures and conflicts of interest.
These have been consistently denied by the trustees, operations director Phil Smith and chief executive officer Cher Sawyer-Smith.
Chairman of trustees Trevor Davies faced a wave of discontent from members at a stormy emergency general meeting on Tuesday.
He said it had been unanimously agreed at the forum to wait until a review had been carried out before taking any action at the charity, which could include a vote to oust the trustees.
Mr Davies said: “We’ve had discussions with the individual but have not formally agreed it, so I can’t announce it.
“When that person has agreed we will let the members and staff know about it and if there are any supplementary views they can be forwarded in to us as part of the process.”
Mr Davies reiterated that he had already investigated some of the complaints made by the whistleblowers and found them to be without merit under the charity’s rules.
“I’ve explained to them that we did what we thought was correct under the current rules,” he said.
“If the rules don’t reflect what the other people’s views are then that is a matter of changing the rules rather than exercising some form of judgement against an individual.”
Mr Davies added that any industrial tribunal which could result from the ongoing dispute would take more account of the policies than people’s views.
The review was requested by South Swindon MP Robert Buckland, the charity’s patron, who has consulted Swindon Council over who best to carry out what is likely to be a detailed and time-consuming investigation.