Press Policy

The Council strives to be open and accessible to the media at all times

Purpose of press policy: 

The Council uses external communications with the media for a number of reasons:

  • To broaden and strengthen local democracy though a well-informed public
  • To raise awareness of the Council’s policies, services and functions
  • To publicise meetings and decisions of the Council, and other decision making
  • To promote the Council’s role in the community
  • To promote the Council’s role in partnership with other bodies
  • To enable local residents to have an effective, well informed dialogue with the Council about services and policies and the needs of the parish

In an emergency, to highlight public safety messages and keep residents informed

Controversial Issues 

Controversy on some issues is inevitable – indeed this can be seen as a healthy part of the democratic process. In these circumstances, the Council’s policies may need defending in a manner which is robust but subject to the following.

Dealings with the Press 

The Clerk will be the normal first point of contact for press enquiries on appropriate issues, but will refer to the Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Council where specific quotes or statements are requested.  All contacts with the press shall be dealt with in a timely and efficient manner.

  • All dealings with the Press shall normally be via the Parish Clerk although responses and press releases may bear the name of the Chairman/Vice Chairman where appropriate.
  • The Chairman may sent letters to the press on behalf of the Council after consulting the Clerk and appropriate members of the Council.
  • All dealings with the press must be reasonable and compliant with guidelines set out in the Code of Conduct and the Council’s adopted Standing Orders.
  • All dealings with the press should be in line with Council’s decisions.
  • All dealings with the press shall be objective, balanced, succinct, accurate and polite and not be party political.

The Clerk will be the normal first point of contact for press enquiries on appropriate issues, but will refer to the Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Council where specific quotes or statements are requested.  All contacts with the press shall be dealt with in a timely and efficient manner.

All dealings with the Press shall normally be via the Parish Clerk although responses and press releases may bear the name of the Chairman/Vice Chairman where appropriate.

  • The Chairman may send letters to the press on behalf of the Council after consulting the Clerk and appropriate members of the Council.
  • All dealings with the press must be reasonable and compliant with guidelines set out in the Code of Conduct and the Council’s adopted Standing Orders.
  • All dealings with the press should be in line with Council’s decisions.
  • All dealings with the press shall be objective, balanced, succinct, accurate and polite and not be party political. 

Press approaches to individual Parish Councillors

When approached by the press, this includes approaches by social media, Councillors should in the first instance, refer the press to the Clerk. The Parish office should be informed of any such approach.

Councillor approaches to the Press 

If a Councillor wishes to contact the press, they do so in their own individual right and this should be made clear in any letters, conversations  or on line exchanges with the press. Councillors should make it clear that they are not speaking on behalf of the Council. 

Press releases:

The Clerk/Chairman/Vice Chairman will be responsible for issuing all press responses. In certain circumstances, this responsibility may be delegated to the Chairman of any relevant committee should the Chairman of the Council deem it necessary or preferable.

Press releases made by a Committee Chairman will be approved prior to their issue either by the Clerk and Chairman/Vice Chairman of the Council.

The Council’s publicity is intended to be objective, balanced, and in line with the Councils policies will be designed not to affect public support for any particular political party.

Other Publicity

The Clerk will update notice boards and maintain the Council’s website with the assistance of a web administrator, liaising with the Chairman/Vice Chairman as appropriate to provide a useful means of informing residents of the Council’s services and activities. Draft minutes of all meetings of the council shall be uploaded to the Council’s website with 5 working days of the applicable meeting.