DCLG plans changes to council publicity rules

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has set out plans for a review of the rules governing council publicity.

Blears: reviewing council code

The new blueprint is intended to replace the existing framework, which was drawn up twenty years ago, before 24-hour media and the common use of the internet.

DCLG feels that some updating is needed to reflect a changed information world.

Communities secretary Hazel Blears is reviewing the code to see if it meets current needs and whether it hampers rather than helps councils to communicate effectively with their residents.

Blears said: ‘We are now living in 24 hour media world and our communication channels have been transformed. It is important that councillors and councils connect and communicate effectively with their wider community, so everyone is aware of what their council does and what decisions councillors make on their behalf.'

This follows on from the Communities in Control White Paper which recognised there was confusion around the code about how far councils should promote and support councillors' activities.

Revision of the publicity code would require further, detailed, consultation next year, depending on the views of this consultation.

The current 20-year-old code is called 'Code of recommended practice on local authority publicity'


Photo: RTPI

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