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News Media and Social Networking Policy

Review and Adopted 7.11.2022


  1. This policy is to guide both Councillors and Officers of the Council in their relations with the news media in such a way as to ensure the smooth running of the Council
  2. This policy sets out to provide guidance on how to deal with some issues that may arise when dealing with news media organisations including press officers attending meetings.
  3. The Council is accountable to the electorate for its actions and shall therefore be proactive in making all reasonable efforts to make its decisions and policies known to
  4. The Council shall allow all reasonable access to news media organisations.
  5. The Council shall make every effort to respond without delay to requests for information from news media organisations.
  6. Councillors and officers must not disclose information that is of a confidential nature. This includes any discussion with news media organisations of any item which has been discussed under confidential items on the Council’s agenda.
  7. Councillors and officers should act with integrity at all times when representing or acting on behalf of Dunholme Parish Council.
  8. When dealing with news media organisations Councillors and officers should be informed and certain of all their facts; ensure that when making comments on behalf of the Parish Council they are aware what Council policy is and their comments reflect that policy; be calm; ensure that their comments and views will not bring the Council, its Councillors or its offices into disrepute and ensure that comments are neither libellous nor slanderous.
  9. Councillors should be aware that case law states that the role of councillor overrides the rights to act as an individual. This means that Councillors should be careful about expressing individual views to the news media, whether or not they relate to matters of Council business. Councillors also have an obligation to respect Council policy once made, while it may be legitimate for a Councillor to make clear that he or she disagreed with a policy and voted against it (if this took place in an open session), they should not seek to undermine a decision through the news media.
  10. Councillors and officers not used to dealing with the press may be surprised when they see that statements made in all innocence look very different in print than they did when they were spoken. It is advantageous to write out statement or position
  11. A Councillor should not raise matters relating to the conduct or capability of an Officer at meetings held in public or before the press.
  12. All news releases and enquiries made on behalf of the Parish Council will be authorised by the Parish Clerk after consultation with the Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Council and are therefore never answered immediately.
  13. The use of social media is allowed by the Parish Council. Only the Parish Clerk can add reports and updates to the social networking site as a representative for the whole Parish Council.
  14. No Councillor can report on the site/s as a Parish Councillor and the above policy points should also be followed.
  15. Councillors can post on Social Media to advertise Parish Council events or to advise residents that a matter is in hand with the Parish Council.

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