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    14 May, 2008

    That Absurd Assembly website guidance

    So here's how it is likely to work.

    You have an Assembly researcher, funded from Assembly funds. Your researcher prepares background material for a speech, using Assembly-funded resources like the library and through Internet searches.

    You deliver a political speech in the Chamber, based on the research. The speech is of course broadcast online and on TV, paid for by Assembly resources.

    You email the speech to the Western Mail, the Rhondda Leader and the BBC, using the Assembly-provided email system.

    Your speech gets coverage on the BBC, in the Western Mail and in the Rhondda Leader.

    On your website you post links to your speech in the Assembly's Record of Proceedings, and to the online versions of the BBC, Western Mail and Rhondda Leader stories about your speech.

    However, because your speech is political and polemical, you are not allowed to carry the verbatim record of your speech, or the video footage of the speech, or your own press release based on it, on your website, because your website is paid for by Assembly funds.

    That is how I read the guidance. Anyone wish to argue?


    Anonymous said...

    No problem Leighton - You cut and paste as a direct Quote from the proceedings.

    Sounds to me as if some "Jobsworth" istrying to justify thier existance.

    GW - Caerphilly

    Peter Black said...

    You are reading different guidance to me.

    Leighton Andrews said...

    Well, Peter, the website guidance says you may not use the website

    • to advance perspectives or arguments with the intention of promoting the interests of any person, political party or organisation you support, or damaging the interests of any other such person, party or organisation.

    The guidance also seeks to limit the content of our websites as follows:

    General content questions

    14. The content of your website or online presence should not seek, directly or indirectly, to compare a Member’s party favourably with another, promote one party at the expense of another or seek to undermine the reputations of political opponents. In this context, the selective use of statistics should also be avoided. This means that stating the following on your website would not be acceptable:

    “Investment in our national health service will have trebled over the past 10 years to 2007/08.”

    “Council tax has already increased by a staggering amount since 1999.”

    15. You may wish to refer to increased Government funding or Government intervention and how it has affected your constituency. This can be included where you can demonstrate how your involvement has brought this about. This is especially relevant where local, constituency-based schemes have benefited from your support, such as in the following statements:

    “I helped the ******** Theatre retain its £85,000 grant from the XYZ Council and was delighted that they received a £400,000 increase in its grant from the government-funded Arts Council for Wales for the next three years.”

    16. You may state your opinion on a range of issues that affect your constituents. However, it should always be clear that they are personal views and not just statements of support/opposition for a particular national policy.

    17. Gauging public opinion on local issues on your website is allowable. But surveys that seek opinions and views purely on national and international matters are unlikely to be acceptable. The following questions would therefore be acceptable:

    “What are your views on the A* bypass?”
    “What is your experience of treatment received at xxxxxx hospital?”

    18. The following generalised questions would not be acceptable:

    “What issues concern you most?

    • Health
    • Unemployment
    • Europe
    • Education
    • Crime”

    These rules would prohibit a substantial number of speeches made in the Chamber from being reproduced on Members' websites.

    Rhondda TV
    The Labour Party

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    Promoted by Leighton Andrews AM, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff CF99 1NA.

    Author's editorial policy: This blog does not publish anonymous comments, unless they are really witty and I like them. If you have something to say, then have the courage of your convictions and use your name or an identifiable alias. Even then I reserve the right not to publish comments that are malicious, defamatory, stupid, pointlessly cynical or boring. Any of the statements or comments made above should be regarded as personal and not necessarily those of the National Assembly for Wales, any constituent part or connected body.