UK & World News
Council Boss Has 'Bit Of A David Brent' Moment
A council boss has been accused of being "a bit David Brent" after emailing staff about job losses before describing how he was looking forward to his wedding, holiday and a music concert.
Director of environment at Wigan Council Terry Dunn sent the message to hundreds of employees in his department about cutbacks in his department.
He appealed to them for their patience before an uncomfortable segue, in which he said: "I will let you know how it goes."
He went on: "On the home front, off to a punk rock festival in Blackpool this Friday. The Damned, Stiff Little Fingers and the Buzzcocks are amongst the acts playing so those old enough may remember them.
"I am really looking forward to it as it forms a big part of my past.
"Wedding 6 weeks this Saturday followed by 2 weeks in Fuerteventura. Can't wait."
Kevan Nelson, Unison's North West secretary, said: "It is a bit David Brent. He probably meant it well but has underestimated the impact of these changes on his staff.
"I recognise there is a style of management where you don't want to appear overly autocratic, but talking about your plans when people's livelihoods are in the balance is not a good idea."
In the sitcom The Office, set in a fictional office in Slough, the David Brent character, played by Ricky Gervais, tells his staff they could lose their job before saying how excited he is about his forthcoming wedding and honeymoon in the Canary Islands.
The council has previously said it needed to cut 200 jobs to save £18.8m over the next financial year.
A spokesman for Wigan Council said: "Terry Dunn has been employed by Wigan Council since he was taken on as an apprentice and has worked at virtually every level of the organisation. He has known many of our staff for 20 years.
"These are tough times in local government. We're trying to communicate with employees as best we can while we go through difficult changes.
"In staff feedback sessions, employees have asked to learn more about senior managers so following that request they've been including personal details about themselves informally in emails.
Since this began several months ago, the response from staff has been very positive.
"Terry meant no harm and is sorry if he's caused offence on this occasion. He has an excellent record of handling staffing issues seriously and sensitively."