Seaton: gagging order on councillors

PUBLISHED: 09:50 25 June 2009 | UPDATED: 23:45 15 June 2010

A SEATON town councillor has hit back at recommendations that councillors do not speak to the press before first liaising with the town clerk.

A SEATON town councillor has hit back at recommendations that councillors do not speak to the press before first liaising with the town clerk.Councillor Peter Burrows referred to an email reminding councillors to run press releases past the town clerk.The email claimed stories in the local press were often negative and incorrect.He said: "I received this [email] with bewilderment. I'm very much in favour of Seaton Town Council getting a better coverage, but to say to councillors we have to come to you first, I find appalling. "I doubt if you can actually force us to do this and to actually send this out, I think it was quite poor."Town clerk David Mears said: "Some councillors have been going to the press in the name of Seaton Town Council, which you can't do. You can't speak on behalf of the council."Mayor Sandra Semple added it was acceptable to speak as an individual. But, she added, there had been matters brought to the local newspapers which were not factually correct and could not have come from the town council.Other councillors voiced support for the motion and Cllr Jim Knight said it had been the procedure of the last council.

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