GUIDANCE on social media use for councillors has been updated.

A report on the revised members’ ICT protocol and guidance on the use of social media for elected members will come before the standards committee on Monday.

They have been reviewed and updated to ensure they “remain fit for purpose”.

The committee is invited to recommend the revised protocol and guidance to council for approval.

According to the report, the protocol was last reviewed and then adopted by full council in July 2017, and a copy of the protocol was distributed to all elected members and is issued to new members as part of their induction.

Code of conduct

It adds: “Effective communication is vital for councillors. Social media can play a key role in achieving this, provided it is used in the right way.

“Guidance on the use of social media for elected members has been updated.

“Whilst it is recognised that social media can provide opportunities for the council to engage with citizens, the use of social media also presents the council and elected members with certain risks and challenges and can potentially result in breaches of the council’s code of conduct for elected and co-opted members.

“A breach of the code of conduct may occur if an elected member fails to comply with the members’ ICT protocol. Depending on the circumstances, an alleged breach of the council’s code of conduct may be considered by the standards committee.

“The members’ ICT protocol and guidance document have been reviewed to ensure they remain fit for purpose.

“The revised documents aim to provide clear guidance to members to support them in their role.

“It is important that elected members recognise the risks associated with social media and ensure it is not used in a way that breaches the council’s code of conduct. The guidance is intended to assist elected members when using social media.”