Councillor resources and elections

A couple of times over the last year or so I have sought advice on the use of councillor email addresses on election material – here is what I received recently:

The Electoral Commission has given advice on this issue in the past. They advised that it would not be appropriate to do this – they feel that there should be a level playing field and that candidates who are not existing councillors will not have the benefit of using a Council email address which is funded from the public purse. Hence candidates should use a personal or a party email address.

Election material is anything put out between the opening of nominations and polling day. This year those two dates are April 14th and May 22nd.

Those who read Labour leaflets should have noted that in the majority of cases councillor email addresses are not used any time of year. I have been the Labour Campaign Coordinator in Southend-on-Sea and this has been one of the changes I have brought in. I have made this change for two reasons; one is for consistency, the other to avoid any issues with electoral law.

I think this also applies to websites that contain election content – I am seeking clarification on this.

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