Fringe Box



Letter: What Message Does The Juneja Sentence Send to Council Staff

Published on: 25 Jun, 2015
Updated on: 25 Jun, 2015

MJ Old BaileyThis letter is from someone who has asked not to be named but whose identity is known to The Guildford Dragon NEWS.

I completely agree with Martin Giles’ article: There Are Lessons To Learn From The Juneja Case – The Council Must Admit It.

We need to know we can trust our councillors and council officers at Guildford Borough Council, after all they are meant to look after all of our interests and the proper governance of the borough.

One particular aspect of this case really bothers me. The council admits that its reputation has been damaged by this sorry affair but Juneja has escaped without a prison sentence.

What message does this send out to GBC employees when staff have been dismissed for much less than Juneja has done?

What misdemeanour had Jim and Elaine Miles* committed before they were marched out of their offices? It certainly didn’t involve the underhand behaviour and lies of which Juneja has been found guilty.

I also understand that another member of staff was dismissed for alcohol related problems following real personal distress. Is this the way to treat staff? What is the likely effect on staff morale?

If employees are guilty of misconduct then, of course, they must be dealt with, but fairly. It must not be a question of one rule for employees and another for councillors?

When applying for a post within GBC that demands specific qualifications for that post, what would happen if they are found to be false: it would be instant dismissal. So why was Juneja allowed to continue as a councillor, drawing her allowance, once it was known her qualifications were bogus?

The culture certainly has changed with the removal of David Hill and I do believe we have Stephen Mansbridge to thank for that. There is much more openness and a better working culture within GBC helped by such things as weekly newsletters to staff.

Sue Sturgeon has shown that she is very capable and competent as the managing director and is determined to keep staff onside. She has won their respect in the process.

However, it was sad to see that both gave a character reference for Juneja in court.

I agree that we need to move on from this case but I share Martin Giles’ hope that first responsibility is acknowledged and then that the lessons, are indeed, learned.

Jim and Elaine Miles were senior council officers who were suspended and then resigned without the case against them ever being made public.

See: Miles Story – GBC Complain But Fail to Check Their Facts

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Responses to Letter: What Message Does The Juneja Sentence Send to Council Staff

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    June 25, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    This is what we have come to expect from GBC.

  2. Martin Elliott Reply

    June 30, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Much as I hate it, I must remind again that Monika Juneja was an elected councillor, not an employee. As such her claimed credentials are not direct grounds for recall.

    The matter of initially lying was one of ethical behaviour for the scrutiny committee (which totally let us down) and her Conservative party (which totally let us down). It was also against the Nolan Principals. Her constituents had little recourse.

    As the council failed to react, the criminality of her use of professional credentials was reported to police who quickly revealed the criminal deceit at other local authorities which, with chutzpah, she claimed as experience to justify her lead councillor roles.

  3. Ben Paton Reply

    July 3, 2015 at 9:10 am

    What message does Ms Juneja’s paying of students per signature to collect petition signatures for a referendum to change the council’s constitution send?

    What message do her remarks on television to ITV send? See:

    Why did GBC reject some 25% of the signatures collected?

    Guildford Borough Council has said that among the reasons for signature rejection was the failure of a signees to comply with requirements to provide first name, surname, full address and date of signature. Ed

  4. David Roberts Reply

    July 3, 2015 at 11:45 am

    It should be mentioned too that Juneja’s behaviour was a blatant breach of the GBC Councillors’ code of conduct which stipulates that councillors shall not bring themselves or their office into disrepute.

    Juneja had clearly done this as soon as she was arrested, but Dr Hooper’s “independent” investigation refused to accept this. Indeed, he appeared to argue that, as an elected politician rather than a salaried employee, she should be held to lower, rather than higher, standards of ethical conduct.

    This is outrageous, as I told him at the time. Politicians are as much public servants as civil servants are. Elected office is a position of even greater trust, and therefore demands greater honesty and integrity.

    Some might say this is being too purist. But my point is this: Guildford is full of decent, public-spirited people, we should expect the same standards of those who run our borough?

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