Political candidate for District Council wants to speak at PC 6 months before election is due

0 votes
We've been approached by a clerk from another PC who is planning to retire in the New Year and apparently intends to stand for a Political Party at the next District Election (May 2019).  This person wants to attend PC meeting 'to introduce myself so the PC knows who I am'.  Our current District Councillor is retiring at the next election.

The PC remains strictly apolitical and we are concerned that this person may want to indirectly canvas on behalf of their Political Party in advance of the election next year. It's been gently pointed out that they could attend as an observer but would not be permitted to speak at the meeting.  The reply is 'I just want to let people know who I am and say "hello"!'

Whilst we appreciate that it is up to the Chair whether someone is permitted to speak (we have an standard Agenda Item for 'Matters raised by Parishioners') can we decline a request as the person is not an Elector in our Parish?  Want to avoid any 'unpleasantness' and are concerned that to avoid allegations of bias we might have to issue an invitation to all other political parties in the area!
asked by (120 points)

1 Answer

0 votes
They cannot canvass or mention they are a candidate for election, as this would be using Parish resources (village hall / booking fee and Clerk's time) for election purposes.

Standing up and waving to say hello seems an odd technique if she doesn't also mention her candidacy.
answered by (1.2k points)
Thanks for the comments.  We cannot work out her reasoning for wanting to attend - other than canvassing!!  Another, less, diplomatic email to her is called for I think!!  The diplomatic ones have not worked!  I fear she may be relying on the existing District Councillor to mention why she is there - which means SHE will have to be ruled 'out of order'.....

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