Agenda item

Survey on the Production of Councillor Newsletters

Each Council term we survey Members to see whether they need/want to use Council resources to publish their Ward Newsletters. This report is to seek approval to do this for this term.


That the amended survey be sent to Councillors and included as an item on the Forward Work Programme


The Chair introduced this report and explained that within each council term a survey of councillors was undertaken to establish whether they wished to use Council resources to publish their ward newsletters.  This report was to seek approval for this survey to be undertaken in this term.

            The Monitoring Officer explained this was reviewed each term with the Councillors deciding in the last two terms not to allow Council resources to be used.  He then read out paragraph 7 of the Code saying there was a public role for Councillors to provide updates to their residents on what was happening at the Council together with outlining what they had undertaken in their wards.  Councillors had to be mindful about sharing information and not expressing their own personal or political views.  This was a reason why Council resources had never been used to produce newsletters as the Councillors who provided them wanted control over what was included.  Newsletters would be required to be vetted if Council resources were used.  The Monitoring Officer said the new Councillors may hold a different view on this.   The Committee would need to consider what limitations should be imposed on the publications and whether it was the simple issue of principle on do we want to change Council policy on this or not.  He reported that a previous survey had been obtained with the questions attached at Appendix 2 and these would be included in the survey and circulated to Councillors.   Once all the responses had been received the committee could then decide what the next steps would be.

            In response to a clarification question from David Davies the Monitoring Officer said the question could specify “do you produce a newsletter in your role as a county councillor or with another councillor or councillors”.  This could be included in the Forward Work Programme if the committee resolved to send out the survey.

            Councillor Antony Wren felt as this was a new Council it should be sent out to ensure that all new Councillors agreed with the current situation.   Councillor Teresa Carberry agreed that the new Council should make the decision.

            The Chair referred to question 1 and wondered if the words “are you intending to produce a newsletter”  should be included as there were many new Councillors who may not have considered sending out a newsletter.

The Chair then asked for a proposer that this survey be sent out and it was proposed by Councillor Antony Wren and seconded by Councillor Teresa Carberry.


The Chair said as there was agreement that these be sent out could the results be added to the Forward Work Programme for the committee to consider any opinion and changes made in the survey.


The Monitoring Officer confirmed that once the results of the survey were received it would enable a better understanding of what was required by Councillors.  If the new Council did want to allow Council resources to be used then a clear set of guidelines would need to be developed to ensure they complied with Paragraph 7 of the Code and were apolitical.   If this was not supported then the situation would remain the same.




That the amended survey be sent to Councillors and included as an item on the Forward Work Programme

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