Anger is mounting at blatant Council staff stealing amid claims that councillors at Labour controlled Brighton & Hove City Council are losing their grip.
Labour councillors appear to have little control over stealing by council staff at BHCC as hard pressed residents struggle to pay huge Council Tax demands.
An example is given by a train traveller who recounted his experience while on the 10.09 train on Monday 4 June from Barnham to Brighton.
“At Angmering a man dressed in jet black uniform with council silver name badges flashing, which reminded me of Hitler’s SS, and ID badge flapping, sat down opposite me. His demeanour was arrogant and superior.
A similarly attired colleague joined him at Worthing. The first council man launched into a tirade of how he’d caught their fellow council employee, Brian, stealing by falsifying his expenses’ claim. ‘That’s the equivalent to an extra £8,000 a year tax free,’ exclaimed the council man, adding, ‘and I’ve caught him before. And so did Rosemary.’
“The other employee unperturbed by this went on to describe his recent holiday in France where he boasted about staying in five star hotels. By the time they got off at Hove I was fuming as I can’t afford a holiday.”
The £8,000 that Brian is stealing from his employers is more than the entire annual Council Tax paid by four households, many of whom are struggling to pay. Money which should be going to help the needy, and not pay for five star hotels for the greedy.
A senior BHCC councillor once explained that if councillors discover theft by employees they are required to keep quiet. In effect councillors become the thief’s accomplices.
The Labour administration should clarify its position by stating that when staff stealing, such as Brian’s comes to light, do they insist the wrongdoer is handed over to the Police, or do they cover it up so Brian can steal again?
Are councillors there for the people? Or for themselves and the council staff? They need to be clear of what their true role really is.
If residents don’t or can’t pay their Council Tax they are taken to court, threatened with bailiffs, and ultimately sent to prison.
Brighton & Hove City Council employees around 11,000 with an annual budget of £700 million. A councillor claimed that the council is a vital component of the local economy.
While that might be so if they live in Brighton and spend their bulging wage packets in local shops.
But the reverse is true when employees commute in from outside the area, like predators come to feast on hard pressed local residents, and take their ill gotten gains away to spend elsewhere.