Purdah presentation pinpoints pitfalls to avoid

Now purdah has started in almost every area where local elections are being held, communicators can expect to deal with various queries relating to what colleagues can and can’t say during the run up to the poll in May.

The video below (courtesy of Simon Wakeman) shows Alex Aiken, Director of Communications and Strategy at Westminster City Council, outlining the key things to consider in relation to purdah over the next few weeks.

The main message that comes through is that as public bodies we are duty bound to communicate with the public about the decisions we make. This remains the case whether purdah is in place or not.

Purdah poses challenges – but it shouldn’t shut us up

It seems like weeks since the general election last year, which resulted in a period of political sensitivity (aka ‘purdah‘) that lasted until well into the summer while the new Government was establishing itself.

Purdah is the term that covers the regulations restricting what can (and mostly can’t) be said and done before an election.  The unusual events that followed last year’s poll meant that many forms of communication were suspended for weeks during the initial negotiations between the coalition partners.

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Election publicty rules raise their head in Oldham

The Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election (which concluded yesterday) has thrown up a familiar issue for those who work in or with the public sector, albeit in a rather unusual way.

The Guardian and Labour Party blogs were yesterday reporting that Local Government Minister Andrew Stunell had apologised for a series of events which led to complaints that purdah regulations were breached.

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