Adopted 12th February 2019
The aim of this policy is to set out a Code of Practice to provide guidance to parish councillors, council staff and others who engage with the council using online communications, collectively referred to as social media. It should be read in conjunction with the Parish Council's Media Policy.
Social media is a collective term used to describe methods of publishing on the internet.
This policy covers all forms of social media and social networking sites which include (but are not limited to):
The use of social media does not replace existing forms of communication.
The principles of this policy apply to parish councillors and council staff and also applies to others communicating with the Parish Council.
The policy sits alongside relevant existing polices which need to be taken into consideration.
The current Code of Conduct applies to online activity in the same way it does to other written or verbal communication.
Individual parish councillors and council staff are responsible for what they post in a council and personal capacity.
In the main, councillors and council staff have the same legal duties online as anyone else, but failure to comply with the law may have more serious consequences.
Social media may be used to:
When using social media (including email) parish councillors and council staff must be mindful of the information they post in both a personal and council capacity and keep the tone of any comments respectful and informative.
Online content should be accurate, objective, balanced and informative. Parish councillors and council staff must not:
Publishing untrue statements about a person which is damaging to his or her reputation is libel and can result in a court action and fine for damages.This also applies if someone else publishes something libellous on your social media site. A successful libel claim will result in an award of damages against you.
Posting copyright images or text on social media sites is an offence. Breach of copyright will result in an award of damages against you.
Publishing personal data of individuals without permission is a breach of Data Protection legislation and is an offence.
Publication of obscene material is a criminal offence and is subject to a custodial sentence.
Councillors' views posted in any capacity in advance of matters to be debated by the council at a council or committee meeting may constitute Pre-disposition, Pre-determination or Bias and may require the individual to declare an interest at council meetings.
Anyone with concerns regarding content placed on social media sites that denigrates parish councillors, council staff or residents should report the originator to the Clerk of the Council.
Misuse of social media content that is contrary to this and other policies may result in action being taken by the Parish Council against the perpetrator.
The Council will appoint a nominated person as moderator of parish council social media output. This person will be responsible for posting and monitoring content to ensure it complies with the Social Media Policy.
The moderator will have authority to remove any posts made by third parties from council social media pages which are deemed to be of a defamatory or libellous nature.
This policy will be reviewed annually.
Contact our clerk
Malpas, SY14 7LN
The villages of Bulkeley & Ridley are part of the unitary authority of East Cheshire.