One of my photos

Lenny walks

February 12th, 2013 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · 4 Comments · Politics

While nothing I have heard about him makes me inclined to like him, I don’t think the news of Lenny Walker getting the sack as a cabinet member of Crawley council is a good thing. Specifically, it is not a good thing for potential whistleblowers out there.

There are two possibilities – either Mr Walker has had complaints from council workers about racial discrimination and/or bullying or he hasn’t.

If he has then him getting sacked for raising the matter is really going to discourage anybody from coming forward on their own behalf as they won’t feel confident that they have any sort of whistleblowers’ protection. Would any individuals who spoke to him feel that their situation has been improved by this controversy? If they had a specific grivance about a particular individual or event, is their position made better by suggestions that it is part of institutional racism?

If he hasn’t then it could be even worse – he could be seen as stirring everything up so much that anybody with a genuine grievance in the future will be inclined to keep quiet about it, and the reputation of the council will have been harmed for nothing.

Of course, there is an argument that it was not so much what he said as how he said it: straight to the press without going through official channels, and in such melodramatic terms that bringing the authority into disrepute is a given. I have to say it doesn’t sound like the council I used to be part of and I can’t believe that it has changed so much in a dozen years.


Tags: ···

4 Comments so far ↓

  • Danivon

    I got the impression that he had received some complaints, going by the article in the News from the previous week.

    However, if he didn’t have (or wasn’t prepared to pass on) evidence, it would seem foolish to have gone to the press. He didn’t, however, actually say that the council was ‘institutionally racist’, just that he’d heard that from employees as their opinion.

    If there are whistleblowers who went to him, they may also not have wanted him to ‘out’ them to the officers/leader.

    It’s an odd situation.

  • Danivon

    I only noticed a few days ago the stories about Bob Lanzer and Karl Williamson. The timing of the loan between them seems to tally with the point when Lenny was removed from Cabinet and Karl was elevated to it.

  • Danivon

    Seriously, what is going on with the Crawley Tories?

    On top of the Lanzer-Williamson allegations, there’s councillors at war with the Association, and then half of them not turning up to Council to support changes to motion-making.

  • Skuds

    Who knows what is going on there? We now have votes of no confidence, criss-crossing police complaints, defections to UKIP and even a rumour in the Argus of an impending defection to Labour.

    I hope that last one is not true. Offhand I can’t think of any of them we would want and certainly can’t think of any who would ever get through our selections if they ever wanted to defend their seats under new colours.