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South Kesteven District councillor apologises over working from home comments

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A councillor has said sorry after claiming that working from home “breeds laziness”.

Coun Ian Selby (Unaligned, Grantham Harrowby) has walked back the comments he made in a recent meeting.

As South Kesteven District Council considered their future working arrangements, suggested that people working at home “spent an awful lot of time” in the kitchen before “slowly walking back to your laptop and forgetting what you’re doing”.

Ian Selby, district councillor for Grantham Harrowby ward. (57238507)
Ian Selby, district councillor for Grantham Harrowby ward. (57238507)

Coun Selby has said sorry if anyone was offended, and hadn’t meant to imply that people are home didn’t work hard.

“I made comments that, in hindsight, I could have made more tactfully regarding working from home.

“While I said that the practice could lead to a culture of laziness, I certainly was not saying that everyone who works at home is lazy,” he told a meeting on Tuesday.

“I would not deliberately offend people and I apologise for the implication.

“It is not an easy job being a councillor, regardless of what some people might think.

“Some are very quick on the uptake to criticise us, and think we are fair game. But what they fail to recognise is that we are people too doing the best for our community.

“For the people that know I didn’t mean to make the comments in the way that they came out, I would like to express a sincere thank you.

“I have made mistakes in the past and I hope to not make many in the future. I have often said that we can do things right 99.9% of the time really well, but if we make just one mistake, we are remembered for that one error.”

Other councillors had pushed back on his remarks at the time.

Councillor Lee Steptoe (Lab) said he had to teach teenagers for several hours a day from home.

“I was doing my job and I know that there are people in this council, and up and down the country, that won’t be eating cheese or drinking wine, they will have been working very, very hard.

“This idea that people working from home are ‘lazy’ is a ‘lazy’ assumption from a ‘lazy’ man – originally the Prime Minister,” he said.

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