Manchester

'David Brent' email sent to council staff by manager

David Brent
Image caption Terry Dunn's email was compared to the hapless antics of fictional manager of The Office, David Brent

A council manager was a "bit David Brent" in including details of his upcoming wedding in an email to staff about restructuring, a union has said.

Wigan Council's head of environment Terry Dunn emailed on Monday to inform staff of a restructuring consultation before telling them of his plans.

Unison regional secretary Kevan Nelson said "people need to be sensitive to staff morale".

A council spokesman said it was "clumsy" and Mr Dunn had apologised.

The email has been compared to a scene in a 2001 episode of the BBC sitcom The Office, starring Ricky Gervais, in which his character, manager David Brent, tells his staff some of them will lose their jobs but "on a more positive note, the good news is I've been promoted".

'Meant well'

Mr Dunn's email stated that the department "are now consulting on the final stage of our restructure and you may or may not be directly impacted upon".

"If you are involved [I] can fully appreciate the concerns you will have and just ask for your patience and to remember it is consultation so you will have a lot of opportunity to put your views forward."

It went on to discuss staff concerns about the restructuring and the advertisement of a new assistant director before concluding "on the home front: off to a punk rock festival in Blackpool this Friday".

"The Damned, Stiff Little Fingers and Buzzcocks amongst the acts playing...

"Wedding 6 weeks this Saturday followed by 2 weeks in Fuerteventura!! Can't wait."

Mr Nelson said the email was "probably sent with the best intention and he probably meant it well, but it has backfired".

A Wigan Council spokesman said staff had "asked to know more about their managers in the council's feedback sessions".

He said it was a clumsy attempt and Mr Dunn, who had been taken on as an apprentice and "has worked at virtually every level of the organisation", had apologised.

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