Thu, 03 Oct 2019
STAFF at West Berkshire Council have been told to sign off all emails saying ‘Get Ready for Brexit’, which some have complained about.
Staff received an email on Tuesday instructing them to make the changes.
One council staff member, who asked not be named, said: “The council’s code of conduct for staff says I can be disciplined for so much as liking a post on social media deemed to endorse a political view.
“Now they are essentially asking me to be an ambassador for Brexit, possibly the most politically divisive issue of a generation. Not only that, but there have been no briefings to staff on how Brexit could affect the council or the district.”
A spokesman from Unison’s West Berkshire branch said: “It seems extraordinary that local government workers are being co-opted into propagating a highly political message on behalf of the Conservative government, just months after a huge swathe were restricted from expressing any political opinion in print.
“The authority needs to decide if it wants staff to act as mindless apparatchiks, or human beings.”
Martin Dunscombe, WBC spokesman, said: “Staff have been asked to include some information in their signature as part of the national ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ campaign.
“This public information campaign seeks to ensure residents and businesses have taken any steps necessary to prepare for the UK’s exit from the EU.
“It’s important to us a local authority that our communities have the information they need to make Brexit as smooth as possible for them. The information staff are asked to include signposts people to relevant and up-to-date information which is available at gov.uk/Brexit.”