Saturday, November 07, 2009

Councillors gagged?

Councillor Chris Black, Liberal Democrat Councillor from Rayleigh, posted the following comment to the previous post on the this blog:
Steve, this is off topic, but can you please post something about this 'ban' on your colleagues speaking about Travellers, as reported in the Echo?

Seems very odd to me.
I am happy to explain. Here in Basildon we have long-running planning disputes regarding unauthorised Traveller sites. This has been going on for years and has involved litigation all the way up the the Court of Appeal. Misreported comments by Councillors could affect court cases or the complex relationships with other bodies that the Council needs to maintain on this matter. So, we have had a policy, for years, that all comment on that matter comes from the Leader. Our local paper, the Echo, claims to have suddenly discovered this and ran a pretty apalling article on the subject. While it is always better to maintain cordial relations with the local press, sometimes we simply have to put other things first.

2 comments:

Chris Black said...

Thank you Steve

Steve Horgan said...

My pleasure.