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Enfield Homes staff criticised for "running down the organisation"
4:04pm Tuesday 16th June 2009 in News
THE chief Executive of Enfield Homes has attacked the Enfield Independent over our campaign to improve housing standards and criticised staff for “running down the organisation”.
Bob Heapy sent an email to all of his staff six days after the launch of our Make Homes Decent Campaign, which highlights housing issues in the borough.
The email, which was leaked to this newspaper last week, says: “It is unfortunate that the press have chosen to target us in this way, but we will do our best to manage the situation by engaging with the paper and developing their understanding of who we are and what we are trying to achieve.”
He then goes on to accuse the Independent of “glaring inaccuracy”, writing: “We will offer them positive stories showing the progress we have made over the first 12 months of our existence and correct glaring inaccuracy in their reporting, though they may not always acknowledge [these].”
When the Independent contacted the Enfield Homes press office to ask for specific details of these inaccuracies — which have never been raised with us — no answer was given.
A section of the email chides staff for commenting on the Enfield Independent website about being relocated to two offices.
One comment, posted by ‘Viktory’ in May, praised Enfield Homes staff for “working hard” but added: “Enfield Homes... gained no friends among the staff by callously uprooting them from their place of work. A lot of the staff... are very unhappy and even frightened to leave the building.”
The email stated: “What was not helpful and what I do not want to see again is the sight of Enfield Homes staff... running down the organisation and in particular the management of Enfield Homes ... Can I remind you that all contact with the press should be through the communications team...
"Staff who choose to disregard this instruction are placing themselves at risk of disciplinary action.”
Spokeswoman Kate Tordoff, on behalf of Enfield Homes, said: “This is an internal issue, not a question of staff being unable to express their personal opinions. “We have a range of mechanisms in place by which staff can raise concerns with their managers.
“As standard practice we have a policy in place to manage press and media relations. In common with a number of organisations, we also have a code of conduct, which includes a statement about dealing with the media.
"Staff working for Enfield Homes sign the code of conduct and agree to abide by the code.”