A Wycombe parish councillor who ‘bullied’ staff has had her ban from the Hughenden Parish Council offices lifted.

Cllr Linda Derrick was sanctioned by the council in April 2023 after being found to have breached the code of conduct.

She denies all allegations that she has bullied or harassed anyone as a councillor.

The experienced civil servant was required to attend training and in the meantime was banned from the council offices except for formal business.

The councillor told the Local Democracy Reporting Service this week: “I asked for the training for over a year and the council arranged it last week. I found the training instructive and enjoyable.”

Cllr Derrick has been highly critical of the parish council, including on her blog lindaderrick.com, especially over the authority’s spending.

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She said: “I find the whole thing worrying. HPC is putting taxpayers’ money at risk, has put children’s safety at risk and is failing to carry out the basic responsibilities of a council.

“I have questioned and challenged these failures, in a polite and professional way, and made those failures public.

“In response, I have been sanctioned and isolated by the council and my concerns ignored. I believe this is typical of many parish councils.

“Few people volunteer to be parish councillors and parish councils are accountable to no-one. This means a small number of parish councillors can control large sums of taxpayers’ money and spend it as they wish.”

Cllr Derrick’s breaches of the code were outlined by a hearing sub-committee of Buckinghamshire Council in March 2023.

It said the councillor had made ‘unreasonable demands of an officer to see documentation’ and had posted online blog comments in criticism of the same employee.

In another charge, Cllr Derrick was found to have made ‘unreasonable requirements that a witness be present for her meetings with another employee and that meetings between them be recorded’.

Bucks Council found that Cllr Derrick’s actions in the first and third complaints were ‘bullying in nature, given the distress caused’.

Following Bucks Council’s judgement, Hughenden councillors then voted by a majority to sanction Cllr Derrick in April 2023.

In December, Bucks Council’s sub-committee found that Cllr Derrick had breached the code in a further three instances when publishing personal details about a staff member on her blog.

It said the breaches were from ‘disclosing information the councillor knew or should have known was confidential’, from ‘bullying the employee by disclosing their personal data’ and ‘in showing disrespect to the staff member’.

Delivering the judgement, the chairman of the sub-committee Cllr Howard Mordue said: “Cllr Derrick has shown a reckless disregard for her responsibilities as a councillor towards an employee.

“Cllr Derrick caused undue distress to a staff member by wilfully publishing confidential and personal information.”

A spokesperson for Hughenden Parish Council said Cllr Derrick had completed the required training.

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