AGENDA ITEM NO.5
POLICY & RESOURCES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
20th MARCH 2015

Revised Press & Media Protocol

To consider and comment on the following issues:

    To approve the new Press & Media Protocol

REASONS:

    ● At its meeting on January 6th 2014, the Policy and Resources Committee resolved that it review the Council’s protocol/processes for the Press & Media.
    The Review Group met on 09/10/14, 15/12/14 and 09/02/15 to review the protocol.

To be referred to the Executive Board for decision: YES

Executive Board Portfolio Holder: Councillor Pam Palmer – Council Business Manager; Community Champion; Customer Focus & Policy, Police Liaison; Community Safety; Social Justice / Crime & Disorder Community Planning; Anti-Poverty Champion; Sustainability; Bio-diversity; Youth Ambassador.

Directorate:
Chief Executive’s Department

Name of Head of Service:
Wendy Walters

Report Author:
Debbie Williams

Designations:

Assistant Chief Executive (Customer Focus & Policy)

Press Manager

Tel Nos. / E-Mail Addresses:

01267 224112
WSWalters@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

Tel Nos. 01267 224307
E Mail Addresses:
DeAWilliams@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
POLICY & RESOURCES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
20th MARCH 2015

Revised Press & Media Protocol

1. BRIEF SUMMARY OF PURPOSE OF REPORT.
The Policy & Resources Committee considered the County Council’s current Press & Media Protocol and resolved that a review should be undertaken. It was determined that a cross party group of six members from the Committee would be established to take this work forward. The group was chaired by the previous Assistant Chief Executive Chris Burns. This role has now been taken on by Wendy Walters, the Interim Assistant Chief Executive.

Membership of the group is as follows:

    ● Cllr. Deryk Cundy (LAB)
    ● Cllr. Glynog Davies (PC)
    ● Cllr. Alun Lenny (PC)
    ● Cllr. Hugh Richards (IND)
    ● Cllr. Edward Thomas (IND)
    ● Cllr. Jan Williams (LAB)

The group considered all aspects of the protocol to address in particular:

    ● Clarity about who is able to organise and sign off on press statements and releases.
    ● Greater emphasis on the fact that press releases are required to be politically neutral.
    ● To reconsider the current practice of local members included at photoshoots only at the discretion of Executive Board members.
    ● The content of Carmarthenshire News.
    ● Promotion of scrutiny and other committees.
    ● The use of the term ‘spokesman’.
    ● Aligning the protocol with the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity issued by the Welsh Government.

Recommendations from the Corporate Governance Review and the findings of the Consultation and Engagement Task and Finish Group have also been considered and included within the new protocol.

The draft Press & Media Protocol has now been produced and approved by the working group. It has gone before the Constitutional Review Working Group, where it was accepted. It is due to go before the Policy and Resources Scrutiny Committee on March 24th 2015.

DETAILED REPORT ATTACHED?

YES

IMPLICATIONS

I confirm that other than those implications which have been agreed with the appropriate Directors / Heads of Service and are referred to in detail below, there are no other implications associated with this report.

Signed: Wendy Walters Interim Assistant Chief Executive (Customer Focus & Policy)

Policy and Crime & Disorder

Legal

Finance

ICT

Risk Management Issues

Organisational Development

Physical Assets

NONE

NONE

NONE

NONE

NONE

NONE

NONE

CONSULTATIONS

I confirm that the appropriate consultations have taken in place and the outcomes are as detailed below:
Signed: Wendy Walters Interim Assistant Chief Executive (Customer Focus & Policy)

1. Local Member(s) – n/a
2. Community / Town Council – n/a
3. Relevant Partners – n/a
4. Staff Side Representatives and other Organisations – n/a

Section 100D Local Government Act, 1972 – Access to Information
List of Background Papers used in the preparation of this report:

THERE ARE NONE