Willaston and Rope Ward Councillor Brian Silvester reported the Council Leader and the Cheshire East Council(CEC) to the Government(See below) for using Council staff to put out a political press release.(See below)
He said, “Cllr Jones acted amorally when he got the Council's media staff to issue a political Easter message.
The press release (below) was clearly political calling for residents to support Cllr.Jones political party and not to support other local political parties.
Firstly it is clearly wrong for Council officers to be used in a political way to issue a press release calling on residents to keep faith with the Conservatives and giving reasons why they should not vote for UKIP or Labour. Secondly it was issued during the purdah period for the European Elections and in that period the law prohibits the Council from publishing or assisting others to publish “any material which, in whole or in part, appears to be designed to affect public support for a political party”. It is clear that from the content of the press release that the Council Leader and the Council have broken that law. I wrote an official complaint to the Council's Monitoring Officer (below) and asked her to investigate and then take action. Amazingly the complaint was put to a complaints committee that was dominated by Conservative Councillors and unsurprisingly they concluded that Cllr Jones was as clean as the driven snow and decided to take no action. The Monitoring Officer failed to respond to my complaint about the Council.
I am pleased that the Government is now going to investigate.(See attached letter) For the Council not to accept that they and Cllr Jones have done wrong is despicable. It should not be for the Government to take action, the Council should police themselves but they have proved incapable of so doing.”
Cllr Brian Silvester BA (Hons)
Leader of the UK Independence Party Group
Willaston and Rope Ward Councillor
Cheshire East Council
11 Rimsdale Close
Tel/fax 01270 567757