The code

The Government published a Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity in 2011.


The Government published a Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity in 2011. The Code is based around seven principles to ensure that all communications activity:

  • is lawful
  • is cost effective
  • is objective
  • is even-handed
  • is appropriate
  • has regard to equality and diversity
  • is issued with care during periods of heightened sensitivity.

This last principle, to ensure special care is taken during periods of heightened sensitivity, is of particular relevance during the pre-election period.

    At all times, local authorities should ensure that publicity complies with all applicable statutory provisions, including the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity 2011. Paid-for advertising must comply with the Advertising Standards Authority’s Advertising Codes.

    In general, authorities should:

    • not issue any publicity which seeks to influence voters
    • ensure that publicity relating to policies and proposals from central government is balanced and factually accurate
    • comply with laws which prohibit political advertising on television or radio.