The leader of Hounslow Council has had his knuckles rapped for linking his council blog to a political site.

Councillor Peter Thompson has been officially reprimanded by the national Standards’ Committee for the content of his blog on May 19, which it considered a breach of the members’ code of conduct as the website was used in a way that could be interpreted as political.

yourlocalGuardian

Apart from this looking like a political spat the story highlights the benefits of councillors setting up their own blogs and not relying on council provided sites for communicating with their constituents.  It can’t be easy to be a local politician without be political.  As Cllr Mary Reid says in the CivicSurf video (at 0:19 secs):

“I want a space where I can be what I am, a politician…”

(h/t Ian Cuddy from PSF)
3 Responses to “Council leader reprimanded for blog”
  1. Paul Evans says:

    What a ridiculous ruling from a ridiculous body. Utterly out of proportion. And anyone who thinks that giving councillors on online tool that enables them to do political grandstanding is the same as giving them an advantage has not been paying attention. If councillors *do* grandstand in this way, it does them more damage than good.

  2. Paul Evans says:

    Oh – in over five years, providing over a thousand councillors with a tool that enables them to link to political sites, I’ve never had one challenge of any kind for doing so. There is no serious legal grounds upon which the standards board should make a ruling like this.

  3. Shane McCracken says:

    I completely agree with you Paul. The problem is that this case has happened and we both know that council legal officers have given advice to councillors about being political (or linking to political sites) from council sites. That’s why we’d advise councillors to avoid that possibility by having their own spaces to be political.

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