Huntingdonshire District Council staff pan bosses in survey

Huntingdonshire District Council.

Huntingdonshire District Council. - Credit: Archant

Staff at Huntingdonshire District Council have delivered a damning verdict on how they view the authority’s senior management, according to the results of a survey seen by The Hunts Post.

Employees were asked to respond to 54 statements on how the authority is run – whether they agreed, strongly agreed, disagreed or strongly disagreed. They could also choose to answer ‘neither’.

Of the 644 people asked to take part, 324 surveys were completed, with results reflecting poorly on council bosses.

Asked if they thought the council managed change well, nearly three quarters of responses, 73 per cent, disagreed.

Just eight per cent agreed that when changes were made they were for the better and only 11 per cent said they trusted senior managers. Confidence in decisions made by them was also low, at just 11 per cent.

While feedback on senior management was largely negative, line managers fared significantly better, with the majority of responses being favourable on topics such as motivation, being open to ideas and having regular discussions.

However, there was doubt among the workforce that any changes would be made as a result of the survey, as 60 per cent of respondents disagreed senior management would take action.

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The council’s top hierarchy vowed to act, by proving staff were being listened to and “delivering on the commitments” made. But there was also a warning that change was “inevitable and complex” and more would take place.

“There will be more change and some will not be popular but the welfare of our residents is the prize at stake and we must continue to adapt to the new environment of local government and be an agile and flexible organisation,” said a response to the survey results.

The survey came after a period of significant change, including a pay review which saw a number of employees having to take a cut in wage, as well as a reorganisation of the senior management structure.

HDC’s executive leader, Councillor Jason Ablewhite, said there had been “a void” in senior management while the restructure took place.

“It’s always disappointing to find out staff don’t feel loved or valued but there is nothing further from the truth. It was always going to be hard because some people did lose out during the pay restructuring. We’ve come in with an extremely large brush to ensure we get the right people in to run a very different council.”

Cllr Ablewhite said he issue would be looked at on a continual basis.