Former Labour Sandwell councillor blames bullying for resignation

THE Sandwell Councillor who resigned from the Labour group has hit back against her former bosses claiming she is the victim of “bullying and intimidation.”

Tividale Councillor Jayne Wilkinson, who is a founder of the Friends of Rowley Libraries, accused the Labour group of treating her like a child and hinted at a dirty tricks campaign.

Cllr Wilkinson also branded allegations made about her using her position as a councillor to be compensated for being a victim of the December Alcohols Ltd fire in Oldbury “malicious”.

She said: “I become a victim to what felt like bullying and intimidation by some of my fellow members during a whip interrogation.

“My union USDAW branch actively promotes freedom from fear an anti bullying campaign in the workplace and at the time of the whips meeting I'd felt intimidated with the process taking place so decided to resign the whip and stand independent.”

Cllr Wilkinson, who lived opposite the blaze in Oldbury, denied any wrong doing in her campaign against Alcohols Ltd and wanted to scotch rumours the owners gave her a car to keep quiet after hers had been damaged.

She said: “I am paying for monthly with a direct debt that goes out of my account every month, I've proof of this and provided that to the monitoring officer at the council.

“Everything I did in regards to the fire was done in a personal capacity and for the residents who were affected by the fire.”

Last week Sandwell Council leader councillor Darren Cooper said: “I expected our whips office to have a word and advise her about what to put and what not to put on social media as she is a fairly new councillor and we wanted to offer her help.

“However, the next thing I heard was that she went ballistic, resigned and is now an independent councillor.”

However, cllr Wilkinson claims she emailed cllr Cooper for support and did not get any and believes she has been cast aside by the Labour group after making the Tividale seat safe.

She said: “I’m flattered to be seen as such a threat. But I can confirm I will retire from local politics in 2014.

“I would never want to be a councillor again as the politics left me with feelings of feeling bullied and intimidated.”

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