SOCIAL workers trying to protect the interests of children were left shaking by a bullying councillor, according to the results of an independent investigation.
Steve Tulley’s behaviour was “intimidating and amounted to bullying of the individual social workers concerned”, the report says - but he has rejected the findings.
An independent person asked to review the inquiry’s findings said there was “no excuse for anyone using ‘foul and abusive language’ to anyone” and nobody should be left “shaking” after a routine meeting.
The investigation was triggered when a senior council director lodged a formal complaint about Coun Tulley’s behaviour after social workers returned from the meeting “very upset”.
The meeting, called to discuss the welfare of children in a Wakefield family, had been cut short because of his actions.
Offered the chance to explain his behaviour by the investigating council officer, Coun Tulley reportedly replied: “I am not playing your stupid game. I have no intention of explaining myself to anyone.”
Wakefield Council chief executive Joanne Roney said: “The independent investigating officer concluded there was evidence of intimidating and bullying behaviour.”
Wakefield councillors will be asked to discuss his behaviour at its full council meeting next week although they have very limited powers.
Coun Tulley, who represents South Elmsall and South Kirby, is already suspended from Wakefield Council’s Labour group over a separate matter but could face further action from the party at a regional level.
Coun Tulley said: “I have not participated in or taken part in this investigation. That report is taken from evidence from other people without my involvement.
“I have not been bullying or intimidated anyone. I do intend to refute the allegations and will do so at the council meeting.”
Coun Tulley insisted he had only asked “searching questions” at the meeting on behalf of constituents who were “at their wits end”.
He said these matters were normally dealt with by political parties and described the council investigation as a “waste of public money”.
“I’ve been a socialist all my life and fought bullying,” he said.