Protecting the personal safety of South Gloucestershire Council staff and councillors

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Our staff and those elected to represent our residents as councillors, are committed to delivering the services local people need.

As an employer and as a council, we are committed to ensuring that they can go about their work in safety and without fear of abuse.

Sadly, some staff and councillors have reported receiving intimidation, abuse, bullying and harassment, in person and online, as a result of simply doing their job.

Such abuse is totally unacceptable and thankfully rare, but we have seen an increase. This can prevent councils from functioning effectively, deter councillors from representing local people, discourage people from getting involved or standing for election and undermine public confidence and trust in local democracy.

We recognise that from time to time, people can become frustrated and even angry, but this should never be directed at an individual. There are legitimate ways that the public can raise their concerns or make a complaint to the organisation.

Any complaints or concerns will always be taken seriously and investigated, with action taken where appropriate.

Similarly, if we have evidence as a council that individuals are being abusive towards staff or councillors, we will take action and refer matters, where appropriate, to the police.

Particularly during election campaigns, and in times when we all recognise that the council cannot always do everything it wants to for financial reasons, it is essential that we remain respectful and considerate to one another.

Our best strength as an organisation and as a community is where we work together, constructively. No-one should have to experience, or fear that they might experience abuse, for going about their job, whatever that job may be.