A council boss has been branded a real-life David Brent after he signed off an email about redundancies – by chatting about visiting a punk rock festival in Blackpool.
Terry Dunn, head of Wigan council’s environment department, wrote to update workers about plans to slash dozens of jobs.
But in an added personal note echoing the comic character played by Ricky Gervais in The Office, he went on to tell miffed workers about his upcoming social life.
He discussed plans to go to the resort’s punk rock festival this weekend, and how he was looking forward to a two-week break in the Canary Islands after his wedding.
He told workers: “We are now consulting on the final stage of our restructure and you may or may not be directly impacted... If you are involved I can fully appreciate the concerns you will have and just ask for your patience...”
But after updating staff on other ongoing developments, Mr Dunn added: “On the home front; off to a punk rock festival in Blackpool this Friday. The Damned, Stiff Little Fingers and the Buzzcocks are among the acts playing so those old enough may remember them. I am really looking forward to it as it forms a big part of my past.”
He then added: “Wedding 6 weeks this Saturday followed by 2 weeks in Fuerteventura!! Can’t wait.”
The chummy email was received less than enthusiastically by hundreds of staff in Wigan council’s environment department.
Kevan Nelson, Unison’s north west secretary, said: “It is a bit David Brent. He probably meant it well but has underestimated the impact of these changes on his staff.
“I recognise there is a style of management where you don’t want to appear overly-autocratic, but talking about your plans when people’s livelihoods are in the balance is not a good idea.”
The council, which needs to cut 200 jobs this year, said the manager was responding to staff feedback which called for more ‘personalised’ messages.
A spokesman said: “Terry Dunn has been employed by Wigan Council since he was taken on as an apprentice and has worked at virtually every level of the organisation.
“Terry meant no harm and is sorry if he’s caused offence on this occasion.”