TELLING STAFF to be ‘politically neutral’ will not be part of the council’s new social media policy after this advice was deemed ‘contentious’.

Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) bosses were supposed to agree to new rules about how staff use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more in July.

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But Trade Union bosses said the 19-page rulebook should be stripped down and instead be presented as ‘guidance’.

Representatives from nearby Trade Unions said advice warning all staff to be ‘politically neutral’ should be scrapped from the original guidance. 

Local Berkshire:

The advice will remain for those staff employed in ‘politically restricted posts’ and for professional social media use, however.

A BFC spokesperson said: “This is to safeguard our staff from contractual issues and ensures they do not make comments that could impact on their ability to do their job.

“We fully support our staff in using social media in both a professional and personal capacity and recognise that as a responsible employer it is our duty to provide appropriate policies and guidelines.”

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Staff members who hold ‘politically restricted posts’ include the Chief Executive, the borough solicitor, assistants to political groups and more.

Advice relating to popular online community group We Love Bracknell has also been dropped after bosses said instructions about supporting vulnerable people posting on the Facebook page should be removed from the official guidance.

Local Berkshire:

The new rule book, which has seen 15 pages shaved from the original report, is set to be approved by councillors at a meeting tonight (Wednesday, October 16).

Details from the July meeting in which councillors were due to give the social media policy the green light revealed no incidents involving officers on social media had been reported to BFC.

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However, there had been incidents involving members which had come to light.