1. Council Meetings:
All Council Meetings are open to the public and press. Councillors and the Clerk should be aware that any statements made in the meeting may be reported.
2. Minutes of Meetings:
All minutes of meetings are public legal documents and may also be quoted in the press and other media.
3. Public comment:
Members of the Parish Council accept their legal collective responsibility for all decisions taken by Council whether or not they personally supported those decisions.
Members should not criticise or complain about such decisions if approached by the media to do so.
Where a Councillor or the Clerk wishes to make or publish a public comment on any matter related to the Council’s business or its responsibilities they must be sensitive to any agreed Council position and also make it clear if they are speaking/writing as a Councillor or expressing a personal opinion.
4. Requests for comments or quotes:
Any media requests for comments or quotes outside a Council meeting may be:
a. Answered by the Councillor contacted provided he or she is comfortable in doing this and the response should reflect the Council’s agreed position/policy.
If a Councillor wants to make a personal comment, he or she should make it completely clear that they are not commenting for or on behalf of the Council.
No Councillor is obliged to make any comment or to give any quote. (see b)
b. Referred to the Chairman for comment. The Chairman/Clerk should ensure the response reflects the Council’s agreed position/policy.
5. Media Training:
An informal Media Training session for Councillors may be offered from time to time if required.
Material is posted on the Hockliffe Parish Website by the Clerk and or the Webmaster. The content of the website should be considered on a regular basis by the Council.
This policy is reviewed on an annual basis.