Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor Brian Silvester has called for Cheshire East Council (CEC) Leader Cllr Jones to resign after Council staff drafted and then issued political tweets for him.(See below, which resulted from a FOI request from Radio Stoke which resulted in 50 pages of e-mails of suggested draft tweets )
He said, “Cllr Jones is a persistent offender as far as this is concerned.Last Easter he issued a political press release through the Council’s media team.(See below) He apologised and said it would not happen again but last June exactly the same thing happened again.(See below) Now it has happened again.
These incidents contavene the Code of Practice of Local Authority Publicity. (See below) I reported both instances to the Standards Committee of the Council. However as the majority of the Councillors on the Standards Committee are Conservatives, appointed by Cllr Jones, unsurprisingly they concluded that no action should be taken despite the face that it was accepted that what happened was wrong.
Following that I reported both instances to the Government and they are now investigating.The Government has said they will not hesitate to issue legal action against Council who use public money for political propaganda purposes.
In both the Easter Message release and now the tweets I was assured that Council staff were not involed when in fact they were.(See below)
These are very serious matters concerning the Council Leader and staff. I am calling on the Chief Executive to immediately investigate this latest incident and then to take the appropriate action. It is simply unacceptable that Council officers have written 50 pages of e-mails drafting political attacks against the political opponents of Cllr Jones and then tweeted the ones that Cllr Jones chooses. These continued and repeated breaches of the Publicity Code must be stopped and action taken against those responsible. I have also reported this latest case to the Government and have asked them to act also.”
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