One in ten council workers say they have been bullied, according to a survey.

The Reading Borough Council (RBC) staff survey results were announced by chief executive Peter Sloman in an email to staff.

The internal survey was responded to by around half of staff and included more than 1,270 individual comments.

Mr Sloman: “My biggest single worry from the comments and statistics is the amount of bullying people experience at work.

“It makes me sick to my stomach that people are suffering in this way.

“There is no excuse for bullying someone; we want Reading to have a caring and supportive culture.”

He said RBC is going to make sure staff know how to identify and flag up bullying and harassment, and where to get support.

The council will also train managers to understand the sort of behaviours that can result in bullying and harassment, and how to protect people.

Mr Sloman added: “I know as Chief Executive it’s my job to set an example and advocate the culture we want.

“When I read the results I felt I was not doing this well enough.

“People do enjoy working at Reading Council, but it could be so much better.”

Other responses which Mr Sloman raised concern about included lack of visibility of senior management and not enough investment in staff training and development.

Mr Sloman also highlighted five areas which he was ‘wowed’ by, including nine out of ten staff saying they enjoy their job and eight out ten saying they are coping with job pressures.

He said: “These results are much better than benchmarks in the public sector and a great advert for Reading Borough Council as a place to work.”

A council spokesman added: “All good employers survey their staff from time to time.

“As a modern progressive employer we are committed to listening to employees and working to make RBC as good as possible an experience for staff.”