BURNLEY has become the latest council to introduce a social media policy to try and prevent councillors from slipping up online.

The policy covers councillors use of sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and urges councillors to take care over what they post on such platforms.

Pendle Council is currently in the process of introducing a social media strategy, while Hyndburn Council has a policy regarding the use of social media during meetings.

Blackburn with Darwen Council also has social media guidelines which are applicable to all council staff, while Rossendale and Ribble Valley Councils are not thought to have any policy in place at the moment.

Elaine Newsome, of Burnley Council, said: “Increasingly, members are utilising social media on both a personal and political basis, ‘posting’ to sites such as Twitter, Facebook and on local interest or news forums.

In line with this, complaints about councillors’ use of these facilities are becoming more prevalent across the country. Whilst no complaints of this nature have yet been received by the monitoring officer, concerns were expressed by the Standards Committee about the potential for members of the public to confuse the private and public capacity of councillors.”

Claire Tulloch, who leads social media for Pendle Council, said: “Our executive will be discussing our new social media strategy at their meeting next month. Our social media action plan includes offering support and advice to any councillors who’d like to use social media for communication.”