Council owns up to advert boob
A COUNCIL has formally accepted that it made a mistake in commissioning radio adverts in the run up to an election. Stevenage Borough Council s executive committee last week rubber-stamped reports acknowledging that it was in breach of the Local Governmen
A COUNCIL has formally accepted that it made a mistake in commissioning radio adverts in the run up to an election.
Stevenage Borough Council's executive committee last week rubber-stamped reports acknowledging that it was in breach of the Local Government Act 1986.
The Act says that a local authority should not publish anything which appears to be designed to influence public support for a political party.
The adverts, broadcast on Hertbeat FM in April and May this year, boasted that 75 per cent of residents were happy with the council's services and 81 per cent found staff helpful.
Speaking at the meeting, council leader Sharon Taylor said: "There's no doubt that a regrettable error was made here."
The executive agreed that the assistant chief executive (finance) should take steps to recover the £763.75 spent on the ads, and that guidance for members and officers should be reviewed and amended if necessary.
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It also agreed that in future no publicity should be issued in March, April or May prior to the local elections, or in the run up to any other elections, without the express approval of senior council officers.
A council spokesman said: "We are reviewing our guidance and policies and amending as necessary to make sure that this won't happen again.