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Can a Parish Councillor refuse to make their contact details public

0 votes
OK A bit of an odd ball

Can a Parish Councillor refuse to make their contact details available to the public, by law?

We have one that is currently refusing to allow his details to be made public, even though he was publically elected, he is refusing to allow his contact details to be put on the Council Website because he doesn't want the public to contact him!!
He has said by law he can refuse, however we can't find any legislation, either way, though we have found a vague hint that says he 'should' make at least one route available

It is not covered in the Standing Order or Code of conduct either.

Any help or hints on this would be appreciated.

Oh and to bring a wry smile to DavetheClerk face, I am being Co-opted later this month, so you may get more odd questions.

Down_here
asked by (930 points)

4 Answers

0 votes
Councillors should be contactable, however in this case we would normally use a c/o address to the office address / village hall or wherever other parish mail is sent.

Each councillor has a Gov.uk email address and we publish their mobile rather than landline if requested (so they can turn it off).
answered by (5.7k points)
+1 vote
Welcome aboard the white knuckle ride we call local government. Put your hard hat on, fasten your safety belt and pray!!
answered by (15.9k points)
Cheers Dave

Taken a few months and they know I am the 'annoying sod' which they think they can tame!
0 votes

As far as I'm aware, there is no legal requirement to publish any personal information, although failure to do so is clearly at odds with all best practice guidelines for a representative of a local community. The ICO Model Publication Scheme includes the following:

"Class 1 - Who we are and what we do

(Organisational information, structures, locations and contacts)

This will be current information only.

N.B. Councils should already be publishing as much information as possible about how they can be contacted.

Who’s who on the Council and its Committees

Contact details for Parish Clerk and Council members (named contacts where possible with telephone number and email address (if used))"

Slightly ambiguous, but it certainly doesn't say you must.

New regulations last year allowed candidates to withhold all of their personal information throughout the election process for the first time, as part of measures to counter intimidation and violence, so a candidate's address could be replaced with "Resident of {district name}" or similar.

answered by (15.9k points)
0 votes
He is claiming it is allowed in law, but cant found where!
answered by (930 points)
This is probably one of those cases where it doesn't explicitly state that you have the right not to, but equally, it doesn't say you must. GDPR right to erasure (Article 17) perhaps?

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