Havering Council were attacked at the Trades council meeting last week for dismissing the principal assistant education officer Dr. Leonard Wooder, with “veiled accusations” and “two highly emotional worded charges.”
Members were told by a delegate from the teachers’ union, Mr. J. Rowntree, that his union had held a meeting at Havering Technical College and were “deeply concerned about the dismissal, had asked for further details, and sent a resolution to the Town Clerk.”
He add that they had received no reply.
Mr. Rowntree explained the background of the sacking.
He told the meeting that Dr. Wooder, 47, had been dismissed on October 28 on the grounds of “unsatisfactory performance of his duties and an unco-operative attitude to his superiors.”
Dr. Wooder had appealed, but the dismissal was passed Committee and upheld by the council though Cllr. Mick Turner and John Squire had since expressed doubts.
Mr. Rowntree said: “it seems from the wording of the two charges to be highly emotional and based on personal attitude. If he had been charged with incompetence, it could have been understood and defined, but merely unsatisfactory leaves a lot to be desired”
He added that “Dr. Wooder wasn’t given a chance to defend himself properly.” And “it was done in our names as residents, in secret, and justice should not only be done but seen to be done”.
The secretary of the Trades Council, Mr. Paddy Grimes, said that when he first heard of the dismissal, he had contacted the secretary of National Association of Local Government Officers, who said they could do nothing.
It was up to Dr. Wooder and his solicitor.
The Trades Council unanimously decided to support the teacher’s resolution and write in protest to the Town Clerk.
This follows a demand at last week’s Education Committee meeting for a further investigation, when members were told that relations within the whole education department were being studied.