Council workers suffer ‘unacceptable hostility and abuse’ from the public

Cllrs Sam Corcoran (left) and Craig Browne

Cheshire East Council leaders are urging people to show courtesy and respect towards council staff after incidents of 'unacceptable hostility and abuse' from the public.

Leader Councillor Sam Corcoran and deputy leader Councillor Craig Browne said rising aggression and threats towards council workers are 'utterly unacceptable and shameful'.

Since April, 37 council highways staff have reported being abused by members of the public while performing their day-to-day roles. This compares with 38 similar incidents in the whole of the previous 12 months. Managers believe the actual level of abuse is much higher than is reported by staff.

Refuse collection workers and parking enforcement staff have also been targets of abuse and aggression.

Cllr Corcoran said: "The kinds of disgraceful behaviour shown towards both our male and female workers are completely unacceptable and shameful.

"Public-facing staff, such as council highways and enforcement teams, carry out vital work for all our communities, day in and day out – whatever the weather and amid the additional pressures of the Covid pandemic – to keep people safe and traffic flowing. They should not have to face abuse and threats of violence.

"Our staff should be treated with the same common courtesy and respect as anyone else. It is disgraceful and shameful to treat anybody that way."

Cllr Browne, who is also chair of the council's highways and transport committee, added: "This abuse impacts on real people who are part of our communities – they could be our neighbours, friends or even a member of our own families.

"During a very stressful and challenging Covid pandemic, our staff have continued to put others' wellbeing before their own and continued to work to serve our communities.

"The past 20 months have been very challenging for us all – but we should not allow our frustrations to boil over into bullying or abuse towards those who are simply doing their jobs and serving their communities.

"If there are things the council is doing that you wish to comment on or see improved, I would urge people to take part in one of the many consultations that are currently being undertaken."

If you witness any council staff or member of the public being subjected to threatening behaviour, you can report it to Cheshire Police on 101.



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Marc Asquith
Monday 6th December 2021 at 3:25 pm
Is it the two in the photo that have received hostility and abuse ? Cuts to gritting, potholes everywhere etc. etc. etc. ?
Simon Rodrigues
Wednesday 8th December 2021 at 8:16 pm
Ask yourselves why, the public feel short changed again council tax going up, more and more pot holes, verge maintenance poor, councillor wages high, maintenance of buildings poor. Money spent in wrong areas. We can go on but no one is listening, a one sided Law.
Laurie Atterbury
Sunday 12th December 2021 at 8:31 am
You've got to be joking ; ringing 101?
Nick Jones
Friday 17th December 2021 at 8:26 am
Probably not assisted from public anger against CEC recent council meeting this last week, making 'Aldermen' of those who voted against the overwhelming wishes of the electorate to remove Green Belt protection from areas in Wilmslow and Handforth Agenda item - Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy - Submission Version | Cheshire East Council and were 'asleep on their watch' during the Lyme Green planning fiasco that at last account cost over £2m+ of our taxes. If reward is the price of duplicitous behaviour then this report should now be in the public arena for the public to decide.
Alan Brough
Friday 17th December 2021 at 9:58 am
@ Nick Jones,

I’d be very interested to know which Councillors have been rewarded for their ‘service’ given the particularly unimpressive performance of CEC in recent years.

There has been no report on these pages…..surely a mistake?
Nick Jones
Friday 17th December 2021 at 10:53 am
@ Mr Brough

I'm sure the truth will out .. shame aside .

Hacker: I'm not going to approve any honour to any civil servant who hasn't earned it.
Sir Humphrey; What do you mean "earned it"?
James Hacker "Earned it, Done something to deserve it".
Sir Humphrey Appleby:" But that's unheard of!"
Alan Brough
Friday 17th December 2021 at 6:17 pm
Mr Jones,

So, the CEC Awards have already taken place and the results are in?
I’m sitting here expectantly, with my bucket of popcorn.
….. and the winner IS….???
Nick Jones
Friday 17th December 2021 at 6:43 pm