Report Date

09/06/2021

Case Against

Bodelwyddan Town Council

Subject

Duty to uphold the law

Case Reference Number

202100504

Outcome

No action necessary

The Ombudsman received a complaint that a Member (“the Member”) of Bodelwyddan Town Council (“the Council”) had breached the Code of Conduct (“the Code”) when they shared confidential CCTV images on the Council’s Facebook page in a post published in March 2021.

The Ombudsman investigated whether the Member’s actions may have amounted to a breach of paragraphs 5(a) and 6(1)(a) of the Code.

The Ombudsman obtained relevant information from the Council and considered the Member’s comments.  The Ombudsman found that the Member had published a mostly obscured image from the Council’s CCTV footage on the Council’s Facebook page.  As the CCTV images should reasonably be considered to be confidential and should not be shared publicly in this way, the Ombudsman considered that the Member’s actions may be capable of amounting to a breach of paragraphs 5(a) and 6(1)(a) of the Code.

However, the Council had provided no training on the Code, the use of its social media, or the use of its CCTV to the Member.  Moreover, the Council had no policies or procedures in place in relation to the use of its social media or the use of its CCTV.  The Member had also apologised to their fellow Council members and removed the image quickly when requested.  The Ombudsman therefore did not consider any further action to be necessary.  He did, however, suggest that the Member seek training on the Code as soon as possible and that the Council should promptly consider whether it has appropriate CCTV, data protection, and social media policies and/or procedures in place.