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A recently elected Parish Councillor has posted an item on a community Facebook page. The content is untrue, malicious and extremely personal.  It is in effect libellous and seeks to rabble rouse and cause toxicity in the community.

Can you advise on what actions can be taken to address this?

It certainly violates the Nolan Principles
by (200 points)

3 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer

A parish Cllr is still a private individual and a private individual enjoys the privilege of freedom of speech. 

If the comment posted is that of a private individual then it is a matter between the author and the subject which may also be subject to T&Cs of the social media platform. 

If the comment opens with “I am a parish councillor” or “on behalf of the parish council” or if it unambiguously references PC business, then the author may have behaved in a way which could be of interest to a monitoring officer. 

If the comment is on the PC Facebook page it could be more difficult, but not impossible, to argue that the comment is private rather than PC business, but you describe this instance as being “a community” Facebook page. 

Cllr XYZ is bound by CoC and PC policies WHILST CONDUCTING PC BUSINESS but MR XYZ is just as entitled to express a personal opinion as the next man

You would need to provide more detail / context for the better standard of reply. 

by (22.3k points)
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0 votes
Sorry you are experiencing this:

I can't specifically advise on this, as we have had issues with abuse in our area too, it is against the rules
if you look up the model code of council(i think that's the site i'm thinking of it has some model guidelines) There is rules regarding Bias/bullying, if you have a local paper or magazine you could write to them if the council refuses to listen? Or if it is on facebook you could always respond if you are able to? Though i do understand taking such actions can be exhausting.

Whilst i can't personally advise, i would recommend if nothing else perhaps get an appointment with citizen's advise, if the council is doing this out of toxicity then they can perhaps steer you in the right direction.

Is it possible to speak to another councilor, or clerk?
Hope this gets resolved
by (340 points)
0 votes
You need to report it to the Monitoring Officer and if it is that bad, the police.
by (24.6k points)
Many thanks for your answer.  I will complain to the MO. She hasn’t provided any definitive answer when I reported: A.  An absence of declared interest.
B.   Backdated interest added onto a form already submitted ( no dating of the amendment).

Cumbria Police have no interest in harassment or malicious communications. They only recommend you to spend cash on a solicitor!

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