Use of SKDC Equipment for election use

P A GADD made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to South Kesteven District Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear South Kesteven District Council,

Could you please confirm if the equipment supplied by SKDC for normal council use can be used for election processes or purposes. I understand the equipment and wifi is for council business only - not for election work.

Therefore can an existing Councillor :

1/ Use an SKDC email address for asking questions to other prospective councillors .

2/If an SKDC Cllr used SKDC equipment ie laptop/ ipod/ email/ wifi facilities for election purposes would that be against the normal election process and need reporting to the returning officer.

3/ If it is okay for an existing Cllr to use these facilities how are these costs accounted for in the electoral budget and does this not unfairly work against prospective candidates who have to fund their own equipment and email address. Ie purchase of computers/wifi/ equipment.

4/ Should an existing SKDC Cllr have an independent email for political business or personal use.

Yours faithfully,

P A Gadd

Customer Services, South Kesteven District Council

Dear Mr Gadd,

Freedom of Information Act 2000 Information Request Acknowledgement

Reference No: 1546272

Thank you for your request for information, this has been registered with us on 24/04/2019 08:58:23

Your request has now been assigned to the relevant department. We will provide you with a response within 20 working days, in this case no later than (23/05/2019 08:58:24).

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Yours sincerely
South Kesteven District Council
Customer Service Department

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Customer Services, South Kesteven District Council

Dear Mr Gadd,

Freedom of Information Act 2000 - Information Request

Reference No: 1546272

Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 dated 24 April 2019.

You asked:

1. Whether an existing Councillor can use an SKDC email address for asking questions to other prospective councillors.

2. If an SKDC Cllr used SKDC equipment ie laptop/ ipod/ email/ wifi facilities for election purposes would that be against the normal election process and need reporting to the returning officer.

3. If it is okay for an existing Cllr to use these facilities how are these costs accounted for in the electoral budget and does this not unfairly work against prospective candidates who have to fund their own equipment and email address. Ie purchase of computers/wifi/ equipment.

4. Should an existing SKDC Cllr have an independent email for political business or personal use.

Our response:

Councillors are not permitted to use any council resources as part of their election campaigning. However, they may continue to use these resources to fulfill their role as a councillor throughout the pre election period (purdah) up to the point of the election ie for day to day council business. To answer your specific questions:

1. This would depend on the nature of the question and the subject to which it related.

2. If there are concerns that an existing councillor is using council resources for election related activities these should be reported to the Chief Executive of the Council.

3. Not relevant see above.

4. An existing councillor should not use their SKDC email address for any election campaigning. They may continue to use the email address for day to day council business throughout the whole of the pre election period.

Yours sincerely

Aidan Rave

Chief Executive

The information contained in this e-mail along with any attachments may be confidential, legally privileged or otherwise protected from disclosure. It is intended for the named individual(s) or entity who is/are the only authorised recipient(s). If this message has reached you in error please notify the sender immediately and delete it without review.

Email is not secure and may contain viruses. We make every effort to ensure email is sent without viruses, but cannot guarantee this and recommends recipients take appropriate precautions. We may monitor email traffic data and content in accordance with our policies and English law.