Policies – Press and Media Policy

Vowchurch & District Group Parish Council
Press and Media Policy

The purpose of this policy is to define the roles and responsibilities within the Council for working with the media and deals with the day-to-day relationship between the Council and the media.
Representations to the press on behalf of the Council will be submitted by the Chair and Clerk or in the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair and Clerk. Wherever possible it will take the form of a written statement.
Other Councillors wishing to submit press releases will do so either via or with prior authorisation from the Chairman or Clerk. It should take the form of a written statement, a copy of which should be sent to the Clerk for recording.
In the event that a verbal addition or submission is made by any Councillor this will, wherever possible be confirmed in written format before publication.
The Council will only comment on matters of fact or matters agreed at Council meetings and representations will be in accordance with the Council’s decision.
No representations will be made in matters which are discussed in closed session i.e., where press and public have been excluded under the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960. Furthermore, no representations will be made on any item or of a nature that may reasonably cause the Council to be subject to litigation.
The Council will respect the rights of individuals and others and will have particular regard to Data Protection issues when issuing press releases.
In the event that Councillors have direct dealings with the press on any matter which may reasonably be construed as being associated with the Parish Council, they must make it clear that they are not commenting as a representative of the Council or reflecting its views.
The law governing communications in local authorities can be found in the Local Government Acts 1986 and 1988. The Council must also have regard to adopted Code of Conduct and other legislation.
The Parish Council’s adopted Standing Orders should be adhered to.
The Council is accountable to the local community for its actions and this can only be achieved through effective two-way communications. The media – press, radio, TV, internet – are crucially important in conveying information to the community so the Council must maintain positive, constructive media relations and work with them to increase public awareness of the services and facilities provided by the Council and to explain the reasons for particular policies and priorities.

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