Brentwood Borough Council

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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 7944

Local Election Manifestos

Request

Local election manifestos
1. Are there any rules about the written content of such documents?
- Going by the last lot put out by the Tories re County Council elections - anything goes, wild claims and promises, exaggeration, waffle & incoherence.
Do central & local government specify any ground rules or give guidelines to ensure fairness, objectivity, facts etc. so local people cannot be completely misled?
2. Re photographs. Are there any rules about the use of these?
Personally speaking I will be angry if I see any children, elderly or disabled people being cynically used as propaganda photo opportunities, especially as many have suffered as a direct result of Tory policies.
3. When the last lot of manifesto went out, for the County Council elections, there was not enough time before the County Council elections for local people to ask questions or challenge the claims/ promises.
Was this lack of time to respond a deliberate tactic by the Tories?
Ann Naylor, I remember, sought refuge from my questioning of her wildly exaggerated manifesto claims re her work / support for the vulnerable in Essex, under the highly convenient shield of "pre-election purdah". She could say what she liked and not be challenged by the public that she had foisted her PR upon.
4. Re use of local press for election purposes - are there any rules on this? Again rewritten content of press releases, columns etc and re photos?
Again, if any Tory councillor cynically uses the elderly, children or the disabled, people who may not be in a position to give their consent, the councillor should have to say exactly and factually what they have personally done to help or support the people they are pictured with to gain sympathy, and suggest they care, when the opposite is true.
We do not want any more cynical, manipulative, exploitative and completely empty PR photo opps in Brentwood.
5. What other rules exist re the conduct of local elections? Do any exist to support fairness, truth and democracy?

Response

1. Brentwood Borough Council is not responsible for local election manifestos.
2. Brentwood Borough Council is not responsible for local election manifestos.
3. Brentwood Borough Council is not responsible for local election manifestos.
4. The Department for Communities and Local Government produce The Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity. This can be found on www.gov.uk
5. The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 provides the statutory framework for local authority elections in England.