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During the pre-election period, there is a 'purdah' injunction on councils that they should not do things like issue press releases or promote initiatives with quotes and photos from a particular councillor/candidate, which could be seen as unfairly promoting his/her political agenda. See: Local Government Act 1986 and “Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity” published by the Department for Communities and Local Government in March 2011).

However, can anyone help me with the details? 
I read a summary, which said that "Town and Parish Councils are included in the 1986 Act but many of the amendments which place much stricter restrictions on principal authorities do not apply."  What are these stricter restrictions that parish councils don't have to observe?
It was also a bit vague on what exactly was meant by a councillor's 'political agenda'.  I presume that it meant simply a cllr's views on issues - or does it mean party-political views specifically?

by (410 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
I would suspect that the majority of restrictions are based on promotion of political doctrine. As Parish Councils are expected to be Apolitical ( no connection with a political party) then the vast majority of what is promoted by individuals seeking election does not attract that particular no no!
by (26.9k points)
Interesting that you should say parish councils are 'apolitical'.  In this part of the world, the Tories do target parish councils, and candidates use the party label on their nomination forms.  The Lib Dems are waking up to this, and now also do it, albeit in a smaller way.
But, the majority of most councils round here are still, as you say, apolitical (apparently!).
+2 votes
My understanding is that during the pre-election period (as they now like us to call it) parish councils should not promote or be seen to be promoting any current or potential candidate for the parish council, so the term "political" is not necessarily interpreted in a "party politics" way.  Publicity featuring individuals should be avoided and meetings should not be used for individuals to indulge in electioneering but in all other respects, it should be business as normal.  Some advice does suggest avoiding controversial decisions as this might be seen to be influencing voters views but not everyone accepts that view.  It's not possible to control what other people do with reports on or from meetings but the council itself needs to be factual and unbiased in anything it puts into the public domain.
by (19.1k points)
Thanks.  This is very useful.

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