Pre-election period

There is always a pre-election period of between 6-8 weeks before an election or referendum. Sometimes referred to as “purdah” or a period of “heightened sensitivity”, it means there are specific restrictions on communications activity in place. During this period, the County Council will continue to operate as normal to a large extent. However, it will seek to avoid dealing with matters that may be politically controversial unless it is necessary for a decision to be made in this period.

There are strict statutory rules about the use of Council resources and publicity during this period. Legislation states that we are prohibited to proactively publicise candidates and other politicians involved in the election. The exception to this is when the Council is required to respond; for example, in an emergency or where there is a genuine need for a member-level response to an important event outside the Council’s control.

During this time, it will be unlikely that any proactive events involving councillors will take place. Any media coverage or other publicity will include quotes from the relevant Council officer instead of a councillor.