Newly elected councillors in Stoke-on-Trent are being asked to sign what is effectively a gagging order that prevents them ‘criticising’ the City Council.
A document in the new ‘councillor pack’ is a protocol preventing electing members from speaking out against the council on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and on community blogs.
All 44 councillors are being asked to inform the press and communication department when they become aware of any controversial matter that arises.
They are also being asked to speak to the relevant departmental director with any concerns and to inform the Chief Executive and council leader should they have any concerns about any issues.
My comment: My advice for councillors, stand up for democracy and freedom of speech, don't sign, you are the elected representative they can hardly sack you. Oh! and get rid of the idiot who thought of this in the first place. Why are so many councils now keen to suppress others just what are the frightened of?
Cheshire West and Cheshire Council also use gagging orders, guess where many of their senior management came from...Stoke-on-Trent. Looks like the culture of keeping problems 'in-house' has followed the senior management.
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