§ Ms. Armstrong
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what restrictions there are on local authority officers making statements which may have or be construed to have a political context in their capacity as lay preachers.
§ Mr. Heathcoat-Amory
[holding answer 22 May 1990]: The Local Government Officers ( Political Restrictions) Regulations 1990 are intended to uphold the tradition of political neutrality among senior local government officers. They accordingly place restrictions on their public political activity. A politically restricted officer who was a lay preacher would not be in breach of the regulations if he were to make statements referring to a political party, a person identified with a political party or promoting or opposing a point of view identified with a political party provided there was no apparent intention to affect public support for a political party.