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Councillors as journalsits or publishers; and vice versa

0 votes
Does elected or co-opted council membership prohibit or limit the degree to which a Councillor can - outside of the elected/co-opted role -  work as a contributor, partner or owner of a local media publication that covers topics of interest to the community and is independent of the Council (ie a private commercial local newspaper;  or can a Councillor act outside the role as a writer, reporter, blogger, author, correspondent, contributor to a news publication or even a book and does it make any difference if the activity is for remuneration or the publication is supported by advertising? Can a councillor write and sell a book or host a blog with advertising, covering an issue which the council he/she serves on has had a significant role? Can these activities be conducted whilst holding office or only after retirement from being a Councillor, bearing in mind some of the media might show the best of the Council?
by (500 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
Information received in confidence as a Cllr should not be shared outside of the confidence - other than that absolutely no restriction upon a Cllr writing a book, a column or a blog whether for hire or reward or not.
by (10.6k points)
There is a general idea that once a Council makes a decision all Councillors are honour bound to support it, this is of course false as for example do Labour MP’s automatically support Conservative legislation once passed
I had a weird experience when I wrote in a local paper that the Clerk had refused to put various items of concern on the Agenda and it was found that I had breached Code of Conduct but I wasn’t asked to apologise
As all the other complaints were rejected I didn’t bother to appeal but to this day I can’t see how my doing this was a breach in the CoC especially as the Council is supposed to keep a register of motions that are refused including the reason why
It’ll be that LUDICROUS assumption that ANY comment perceived to be critical is verboten.
Granted there will be proper means and method to highlight employment issues, address shortcomings and improve performance - these are “technical” employment issues and should be progressed through the appropriate internal HR channels.
But to be ABSOLUTELY clear, none of the above disempowers any individual, whether Cllr or not, of their inalienable RIGHT to freedom of expression - even where that expression may be “perceived” as being critical.
This is EXACTLY the point which was never properly resolved in the previous discussion about Cllrs as the employee of a clerk - when a Cllr makes a personal comment about an employee they are deemed and treated as being “the employer” for code of conduct purposes yet if any individual Cllr should ever be so bold as to highlight a requirement from an employee then the banshee howls of “corporate whole” “no individual” comes streaming out.
0 votes
May be controversial but you are accountable to the people who elected you and you are there to inform and work on their behalf all things considered, at some points some councillors were there for their benefit but they at least attended and were quite vocal which was their democratic and the political process for better or worse.
by (1.2k points)

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