Don't miss a story sign up to Weston Mercury's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

HR manager who fired council boss was ‘not aware’ she had whistleblown

PUBLISHED: 17:21 29 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:30 29 September 2017

Maggie Siviter is suing North Somerset Council after being dismissed in 2015.

Maggie Siviter is suing North Somerset Council after being dismissed in 2015.

Wales News Service Ltd.

The HR manager responsible for terminating the contract of an ex-council boss who claims she was sacked for speaking out about child sexual exploitation says she was ‘not aware’ any whistleblowing had taken place.

North Somerset Council’s former safeguarding lead Maggie Siviter, aged 56, is suing the authority for £1.4million for breach of contract.

Ms Siviter says no risk assessments were completed by the council over suspicions vulnerable girls were being sexually exploited at Butterfly’s massage parlour, a bar owned by Kiem Binh Mu and his brother Cam, and an Indian restaurant run by Alkas Hussain.

This week, speaking to the Mercury, Mr Hussain and Cam Mu have both denied any involvement in the illegal activities alleged by Ms Siviter with Mr Hussain saying the allegations against made by Ms Siviter are ‘100 per cent false’.

At the tribunal at Pontypridd County Court in Wales today (Friday) a statement from the council’s HR manager Susan Turner said Ms Siviter was fired for breaching the data protection act, when she sent and took confidential documents home.

But Ms Siviter argues her job should have been protected by whistleblowing laws, as she escalated safeguarding concerns to young person’s watchdog Ofsted when her pleas for an investigation were ignored.

Ms Siviter was hired through an agency to take on the role of safeguarding lead, and her contract was due to end on November 30.

On November 23 allegations came to light that Ms Siviter had breached data protection laws and Ms Turner met with her alongside the council’s director of people and communities Sheila Smith to discuss them.

Ms Turner’s statement says: “We jointly agreed if what had (been) said was correct, then we would terminate her contract immediately.”

The statement says Ms Siviter confirmed the allegations were true, and adds: “She then told us, almost as an aside, that she was the whistleblower.

“I did not know anything about any whistleblowing.

“Because she had admitted to taking confidential information, Ms Smith told her we would be ending her assignment with immediate effect.

“Had the claimant said ‘I’m your whistleblower and this is why I’ve taken the information’ I might have thought differently – but the two issues did not connect in my head.

“I did not terminate the claimant’s (Ms Siviter’s) contract because she had made protected disclosures. I was not aware disclosures had been made to Ofsted when her contract was terminated.”

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 19:00

A 10-year-old boy organised a cake sale so his mum and sister could travel abroad to help dogs living on the streets.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:07

Two people and a dog have been rescued from a cliff this afternoon (Monday).

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

A packed weekend of activities will see Young Farmers from across the South West descend on Weston-super-Mare next month.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:59

A Roman army marched through Weston’s museum last week, as part of a series of half-term activities.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

A Somerset MP has been shortlisted for a Green Heart Hero award.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00

A multi-million-pound funding bid, which would have helped with plans to build homes at Weston’s Dolphin Square, has been rejected.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

A ‘comprehensive’ review of North Somerset’s playing fields is being carried out as the district prepares for thousands of new homes to be built over the next two decades.

Read more
Sunday, February 18, 2018

YMCA Somerset Coast is calling on people to come together and sleep rough for one night in March to support homeless young people.

Read more
Sunday, February 18, 2018

Weston-super-Mare students were encouraged to think about their future at a careers event.

Read more
Sunday, February 18, 2018

English hubs will be set up across the country and phonics and reading roadshows will be rolled out to improve literacy in schools.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder