Havering Council: Living in Havering, February 2019

Damian White’s magazine Living in Havering is devoted to his stellar qualities. He appears on eight pages, three of which are accompanied by photos. His close political friend, Osman Dervish, appears four times. Trailing far behind are Joshua Chapman (2), Robert Benham (1), Viddy Persaud (0), Jason Frost (0) and Roger Ramsey (0). Or to put it another way, Damian 8: the rest of the Cabinet 7. In Damian’s Cabinet, ‘Some are more equal than others.’1 All very egotistical but is it legal?

The relevant government regulation is that-

.it is acceptable for local authorities to publicise the work done by individual members of the authority, and to present the views of those individuals on local issues. This might be appropriate, for example, when one councillor has been the “face” of a particular campaign. If views expressed by, or attributed to, individual councillors do not reflect the views of the local authority itself, such publicity should make this fact clear.2

Living in Havering fails this regulation. The majority of the cabinet members featured are heading council activities. Describing routine council activity doesn’t mean that they’re ‘the “face” of a particular campaign’. There is also a requirement that council funded local magazines should reflect views other than that of the council. ‘If views expressed by or attributed to individual councillors do not reflect the views of the local authority itself, such publicity should make this fact clear.’

Damian’s minority Administration is using a council tax funded magazine for political publicity and is breaching government regulations.

1 The Mayor, as the face of Havering, gets three appearances.

2 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/5670/1878324.pdf p4 para 20 see also p2 para 4

Chris

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