Questions about town and parish councils
Follow Councillor Q&A on X/Twitter

Follow us on X/Twitter

0 votes

Since the beginning of March our Parish Council has been posting curated content from the Electoral Commission regarding Voter ID. 

Some of the posts from our Facebook page were shared to active local Facebook groups which is great for our engagement targets. yes 

A district council candidate has commented on the post with his campaign content, views on voter ID, leaflet, etc. One of the competing candidates has now spoke to us saying that we are breaching purdah rules by allowing his comments on our shared post.

We (the parish council) haven't "liked" or commented on the content, so in my view we are still apolitical. 

I've checked the purdah guidelines but this scenario does not seem to apply. What are everyone's thoughts?

by (410 points)

1 Answer

0 votes
Best answer

"Local authorities should pay particular regard to the legislation governing publicity during the period of heightened sensitivity before elections and referendums – see paragraphs 7 to 9 of this code. It may be necessary to suspend the hosting of material produced by third parties, or to close public forums during this period to avoid breaching any legal restrictions"

So i guess the question is are you considered as hosting the material or are Facebook hosting it. Do you have the ability to disabled comments?
by (4.6k points)
selected by
Thank you for the info. We can disable comments.
As for the question of hosting the content, are we responsible for the comments of shared material?
If we remove their content, are we then "getting involved"?
I don't use Facebook so don't know how sharing works. I would say you should not allow comments to be made on your own page. If people can share that content and comments can then be made on someone elses page then that is out of your control so i would not worry about that.

IMO if you remove all comments (even if removing all comments means only removing one comment) then you are not 'getting involved', instead you are ensuring the purdah rules are followed. If it was only one particular comment you were removing then yes that could be considered 'getting involved'

Welcome to Town & Parish Councillor Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community. All genuine questions and answers are welcome. Follow us on Twitter to see the latest questions as they are asked - click on the image button above or follow @TownCouncilQA. Posts from new members may be delayed as we are unfortunately obliged to check each one for spam. Spammers will be blacklisted.

You may find the following links useful:

We have a privacy policy and a cookie policy.

Clares Cushions logo Peacock cushion

Clare's Cushions creates beautiful hand made cushions and home accessories from gorgeous comtemporary fabrics. We have a fantastic selection of prints including Sophie Allport and Orla Kiely designs and most covers can be ordered either alone or with a cushion inner. Buying new cushions is an affordable and effective way to update your home interior, they're also a great gift idea. Visit our site now

2,959 questions
5,775 answers
10,071 users
Google Analytics Alternative