Coun David Renard has hit out at Haydon Wick Parish Council's newsletter for having political agenda

This Is Wiltshire: Coun David Renard Coun David Renard

THE leader of Swindon Council has locked horns with the parish council in his ward over what he sees as a political agenda in their publications.

Coun David Renard has hit out at Haydon Wick Parish Council over articles contained in the winter edition of their newsletter, which he says are in violation of their own rules.

A number of articles in Haydon Wick Living, a newsletter distributed to residents three times a year, have caught the attention of the council leader as having a distinctly political agenda.

The local publication has recently been relaunched, and changed its name in the process.

The previous edition had written about local issues and events, including the flood alleviation scheme and littering in the area.

A disclaimer in the summer edition said: “This newsletter is unable to publish political advertisements and contributors cannot make reference to political parties, or include party logos, party addresses, email or websites.

“While we accept all contributions in good faith, Haydon Wick Parish Council cannot be held responsible for either the work of, or the claims made by, any of our advertisers.”

Coun Renard said: “I think any publication describing parish council activities should be as objective as possible. Local authorities should not be using public funds to further their own campaigns.

“There are at least four articles in their newsletter which directly contravene their own rules.

“They have a wonderful 64 page glossy magazine, but they have thrown articles in there about the extension of Thamesdown Drive, the Haydon Centre, and the future of the bridge over the River Ray.”

Parish councillors have recently bucked at plans to demolish the bridge spanning the River Ray, and appealed to residents to object to the £15,000 plans.

Coun Renard added changes to the editorial team on the magazine had begun to turn the relationship between ward and parish councillors frosty.

“As ward councillors we have had a good relationship with the parish council for many years,” he said. “They have allowed us to contribute to the magazine in the past, but are now refusing to do so.

“There are new people running the magazine who seem completely unwilling to work with us. They have got no problem with running these articles which are completely in contravention of their own rules.

“If they want to become a campaigning parish council which has a political edge, that is a decision they need to make in advance rather than putting their agenda through by the back door.”

Haydon Wick Parish Council are bringing the matter to their full council meeting on 17 December, and declined to comment further until the matter had been discussed.

Comments (5)

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10:54am Wed 4 Dec 13

Ringer says...


Haydon Wick Parish Council are bringing the matter to their full council meeting on 17 December


Which should mean they come up with their official response by around March 2015.
[quote] Haydon Wick Parish Council are bringing the matter to their full council meeting on 17 December [/quote] Which should mean they come up with their official response by around March 2015. Ringer

11:09am Wed 4 Dec 13

John~R says...

Local issues merit discussion and action at the local level even if they don't align with the agenda of the borough council.

However, not allowing the ward councillors to contribute to the magazine does fly in the face of democracy and requires explanation.
Local issues merit discussion and action at the local level even if they don't align with the agenda of the borough council. However, not allowing the ward councillors to contribute to the magazine does fly in the face of democracy and requires explanation. John~R

2:25pm Wed 4 Dec 13

RichardR1 says...

Seems Councillor Renard has a problem with the democratic process. Whilst Parish Councils are no overtly political their members will have their own political views. I think his protestations are a little hypocritical given how often his head of planning cabinet member involves himself in the work of various Parish Councils, or is that not political interference.
Seems Councillor Renard has a problem with the democratic process. Whilst Parish Councils are no overtly political their members will have their own political views. I think his protestations are a little hypocritical given how often his head of planning cabinet member involves himself in the work of various Parish Councils, or is that not political interference. RichardR1

9:42pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Empty Car Park says...

What is it with Swindon Borough Clownschool that they feel so compelled to trash parich councils?
What is it with Swindon Borough Clownschool that they feel so compelled to trash parich councils? Empty Car Park

11:01am Thu 5 Dec 13

CocoaClown says...

Have to say I liked the new edition. When I read it I must admit I smirked. It's only saying what a lot of people think.
Have to say I liked the new edition. When I read it I must admit I smirked. It's only saying what a lot of people think. CocoaClown

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