While services are squeezed by Mr Oliver and charges go up, the council faces multi million pound law suits from companies and individuals. There are at least two staff legal complaints which centre on allegations of bullying and intimidation and a huge claim by a local company based on bullying, intimidation and corruption and Labour is seeking answers to the cost associated with the allegations of bullying.
A Northumberland Labour spokeswoman said
"The council is facing a set of choices brought upon itself. Nearly two years into this administration, we're seeing disgraceful evidence of an alleged culture of bullying and intimidation led by senior Tory councillors. We now have a council under siege financially, taking reckless decisions with residents futures and facing allegations that they're operating more like MI5 than the public facing council.
The council is spending hundreds of thousands of pounds defending legal actions brought by employees who claim they've been bullied and it's always the same councillors and officers who are accused of bullying.
We need an independent investigation into the council, its decisions and the actions of its senior councillors and officers and we need it to protect both the council and people who feel they are being bullied, on whatever level".