Yesterday the Barnet Eye reported that Barnet Council had secretly issued a press release stating that
The council does not tolerate the abuse or bullying of any of its staff.
This case is an important test of this principle. Tambourides is a high ranking Conservative cabinet member, who deliberately circulated an email seeking to denigrate a colleague. Why? Because Kate Salinger had taken a principled stand against awarding herself a payrise. She was publicly humiliated and stripped of all responsibility within the council. She then suffered the indignity of a colleague circulating a humiliating and inaccurate blog about her to all her colleagues. The blog was forced to apologise, but Tambourides did not bother to circulate the correction.
Long standing readers of this blog will know I took Councillor Brian Coleman to the standards committee. He was found guilty of breaching the code, but no sanction was imposed. Having been through the process and had the indignity of having a highly paid lawyer spend two hours besmirching my character - spouting innaccuracy after innaccuracy, I will be most interested to follow these procedings. Certain members of the Barnet Conservatives cannot behave themselves. They will only learn to behave when they are brought to book. The time is long overdue. Kate Salinger has shown herself to be the bravest, most highly principled and the nicest of all Tory Councillors. She is an example of good manners. She exemplifies the qualities that all good local councillors should aspire to have. It is incredible that Tambourides was not instantly relieved of all duties when he circulated the offending email. It shows just how rotten to the core the clique at the heart of Barnet Council really is. I applaud Councillor Salinger for standing up to this bully and holding him to account.
Here are the papers for your perusal.
Agenda and Reports Pack