Councillor who bullied staff stripped of title after failing to attend meetings

Hatfield Town Council leader Lenny Brandon

Former Hatfield Town Council leader Lenny Brandon was found to have bullied the Town Clerk. - Credit: Archant

The former Labour leader of Hatfield Town Council was stripped of his position as councillor after he failed to attend any full council or council committee meetings in six months. 

Lenny Brandon was removed as councillor of Hatfield's South West Ward in November 2021. He had previously been ousted as leader of Hatfield Town Council after a Conservative majority in May 2021 saw two Tory councillors take over as leader and deputy leader.

On Thursday, January 20, a by-election was held to elect Lenny's replacement. 

But council meetings, which all councillors must attend by law, are not the only appointments Mr Brandon refused to go to.

After an investigation into bullying allegations, the Standards Sub-Committee found Mr Brandon guilty of bullying the town clerk and told him to attend anti-bullying training, which the councillor also did not attend.

The investigator found Mr Brandon's 'micro-management style' of the Town Clerk at odds with the council's rules. They also took issue with Mr Brandon's lack of respect for the clerk and the manner in which he contradicted her decisions and excluded her from private council business meetings. 

The Town Clerk left her position two weeks ago due to the stress she was put under.

Lib Dem Tim Rowse won last week's by-election, with 268 votes. Labour came in second with 126 votes, followed by the Conservative candidate and finally the 'Abolish Hatfield Town Council' candidate with 44 votes.

White man in red beanie standing by a fence which has a large sign saying 'polling station'

Lib Dem Tim Rowse is Hatfield Town Council's new councillor of South West Ward. - Credit: Welwyn Hatfield Liberal Democrats

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Paul Zukowskyj, Lib Dem County Councillor for Hatfield South, said: "I’m delighted to welcome Tim to our team of elected councillors, I know he’ll be a fantastic councillor and a true champion for the people of Hatfield." 

A spokesperson from Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council said: "The council carried out an investigation and we published our decision and recommendations following the Standards Sub-Committee on 29 October 2020. These were for the town council to then take forward and action."

Lenny Brandon did not respond to the WHT's request for comment.