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Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009

Chapter 6: Politically Restricted Posts
Section 30 – Politically restricted posts

79.Certain local authority employees in positions of seniority or influence (for instance the chief executive of the authority) are restricted from undertaking certain political activities, such as standing for election or speaking publicly in support of a particular political party. As well as specific posts being politically restricted, employees with a salary of £36,730 or above are deemed to hold a politically restricted post. These political restrictions were introduced to address concerns about political impartiality and conflicts of interest. These so-called “Widdicombe rules” sought to ensure that authority members are confident that the advice they receive from their senior staff is impartial.

80.Subsection (2) removes the requirement imposed by section 2 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 for local authorities to prepare and maintain a list of posts that exceed a specified salary, and which as a consequence mean that the post-holder is subject to political restrictions. Subsections (3) and (4) make amendments consequential to this.

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