Cheshire East Council leaders have called for respect towards council staff following a number of recent incidents of 'extreme hostility' by members of the public.
Deputy leader Councillor Craig Browne and Councillor Laura Crane, cabinet member for highways and waste, said the aggression, abuse and threats towards male and female staff and council members are 'totally unacceptable'.
In one incident, more than a dozen residents verbally abused and threatened council highways' staff as they attempted to install traffic calming measures. Several residents also blocked the road to prevent highways vehicles entering.
The level of hostility was such that council managers ordered staff to withdraw and temporarily cease their work.
In a separate incident a female civil enforcement officer suffered a barrage of abuse and threatening behaviour from two men she was ticketing for parking illegally outside a shop.
The council worker, who was simply enforcing the law, was left extremely shaken and shocked by the experience and has required counselling. The matter has been reported to the police and is pending prosecution proceedings.
Cllr Crane said: "This is absolutely disgraceful behaviour towards our workers and completely unacceptable.
"Council highways and enforcement staff work for all our communities, carrying out vital jobs – day in and day out, whatever the weather – to keep our roads safe and traffic flowing. They should not have to face extreme hostility and threats.
"Council staff should be treated like anybody else – with common courtesy and respect. I am only thankful that none suffered physical injury in these incidents. It is shameful to treat anybody that way."
Cllr Browne added: "During the Covid pandemic, council staff have continued to work to serve our communities – often putting others' wellbeing before their own. I, for one, am inspired and impressed by their continued dedication, hard work and resilience – demonstrated, for example, by their commitment to our People Helping People service.
"This has been a difficult and frustrating year for us all. However, we should not allow our frustrations to translate into bullying or abuse towards those who are simply doing their jobs and serving their communities. Instead, we encourage people to share their views on council services through one of the many consultations we hold."