It appears that IOACC Interim MD, David Bowles, has last month sent a letter to all councillors saying that "if any member wishes to make a complaint against any officer, now or in the future, any such complaint will be rejected unless it is put in writing, signed, and supported by evidence. Any member, who is also a member of a group, will also be expected to have such a complaint endorsed in writing by their Group Leader". Furthermore he advises councillors that should any complaint against an officer lead to employment related litigation (e.g. for bullying) by the officer concerned, then "the Council will be seeking financial indemnity from any members who have played a part".
To my mind this is extraordinary: councillors have effectively been warned that they risk personal financial ruin should they have the temerity to raise any complaint - however legitimate - against any council officer. We know that there has been an atmosphere of severe distrust between councillors and officers since at least the Craigwen affair; however, Davids Bowles' actions in 'circling the wagons', defending his officers against any and all claims, and making veiled threats of financial penalties against councillors who make complaints will surely only deepen the distrust between councillors and officers. Furthermore, David Bowles would do well to remember that councillors have been democratically elected to represent their constituents; it is the officers' job to support the councillors - not the other way around.
This blog did initially support David Bowles' actions to clean up Anglesey Council. However as time goes by it seems that rather than solving IOACC's problems, Mr Bowles actions may actually be exacerbating them.
UPDATE: Following this blogpost, the Council released the entire letter - see below:
David Bowles letter to all councillors regarding the undermining of the Monitoring Officer