Minister Eric Pickles has urged parish councils to dismiss new “Stalinist” guidelines that prevent councillors speaking to the media without official consent.
The Local Government secretary’s comments come after Witney Town Council drafted a new media policy based on the guidelines by the National Association of Local Councils.
Mr Pickles said: “Councillors must be able to challenge waste and inefficiency, and should not have to get permission from state officials to speak to the press.
“I am concerned this Stalinist guidance will have a chilling effect on public life.”
The town council, which is yet to vote on the policy, could not be reached for comment.
Our top stories:
3:57pm Friday 19th September 2014
A CYCLIST who sexually harassed two women this morning is being hunted by police.
3:19pm Friday 19th September 2014
A CHANGEOVER in the traffic system at Oxford’s Kennington Roundabout is to be delayed by four weeks, to mid-October.
1:50pm Friday 19th September 2014
THE inaugural OxfordOxford festival has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales and uncertainty with a booked artist, organisers have said today.
8:30am Friday 19th September 2014
AN ALCOHOLIC who kicked a woman’s head like she was “taking a penalty” has been jailed.
8:00am Friday 19th September 2014
A HOME Office minister has admitted that social services and police officers should have been co-operating “for years” to stamp out child sexual exploitation.
7:00am Friday 19th September 2014
MORNING traffic on a main route into the city could increase by almost half if a major development in North Oxford goes ahead, it has been claimed.