Former Garden director pleased with settlement

Philip Spencer
Philip Spencer

The man who took his former bosses to an employment tribunal and received an £85,000 settlement has described the outcome as ‘very satisfactory’.

Philip Spencer, ex-director of development at The Alnwick Garden, claimed he had been unfairly dismissed.

The 59-year-old, who had been on a package worth £85,000, said he had been chosen for redundancy because he had been a whistleblower, raising concerns about the handling of finances at the charity. This was denied.

But last week, the case was halted when the two sides reached an agreement, in which he was given £65,000 compensation, £20,000 towards costs and a job reference.

Mr Spencer, from Surrey, said: “It was a very satisfactory outcome. I said what I wanted to say and that was that. I don’t have bad feelings about the Garden. I want to leave it there and move on.”

The Alnwick Garden Trust was ‘delighted’ at the settlement but said it will always defend what it considers to be ‘spurious claims’.

The tribunal heard that the Garden was in a precarious financial position when it emerged from last winter and needed to cut the wage bill. The hearing was told that Mr Spencer hadn’t raised any funds in 18 months. Mr Spencer said his achievements included bringing the Ministry of Food to the Garden.