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Charity boss faces bullying’ allegations

PUBLISHED: 18:20 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:26 25 August 2010

COMPLAINTS: Ms Smith.

COMPLAINTS: Ms Smith.

A CHARITY that plays a pivotal role in the community has been rocked by complaints of bullying made against its chairman.

EXCLUSIVE

A CHARITY that plays a pivotal role in the community has been rocked by complaints of bullying made against its chairman.

The Times can exclusively reveal that four heads of service at community development charity Trust Thamesmead made grievance complaints against their chairperson, Greenwich councillor Jackie Smith.

The Trust, which last year had £3million, has launched an investigation into the rift.

Greenwich Unison branch secretary Onay Kasab said: "We can confirm that the heads of community development, human resources, communications and marketing, and community services made a grievance complaint that involves the chairperson and must be investigated by law. It includes bullying, and misuse of resources and we demand that the board immediately deal with it properly. They will have to consider Jackie Smith's position as chairperson."

Further details of the bullying accusations have yet to be revealed.

Ms Smith, a Thamesmead councillor and Greenwich council's cabinet member for children's services, is an independent trustee, presiding over 10 other trustees. She has stepped down in light of the rebellion against her.

The Trust's chief executive has also been temporarily replaced as the investigation continues.

Trust Thamesmead wields a large budget and is responsible for organising events, including a summer festival that attracts up to 20,000 visitors each summer. A key stakeholder in Thamesmead, the Trust is a 50 per cent shareholder of Tilfen Land alongside Gallions Housing Association.

The Times this week also uncovered that its former trustee, deputy leader for Greenwich council Peter Brooks is involved in an 'absent councillor' row over former employee, Danny Thorpe.

A spokesperson for Trust Thamesmead said: "The Trust has agreed procedures and policies in place for investigating allegations against staff and trustees.

"The board has appointed Vic Grimes to the position of acting chair who, together with members of the board, will oversee the investigation process.

"David Stone, head of community development, is acting as deputy chief executive to manage the day to day operations of the Trust."

Trust Thamesmead's investigation is expected to be concluded by the end of October and will include a private internal hearing.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk


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