POLITICAL groups provided with offices at Barnsley Town Hall have been issued with a warning against using the premises for general election work after photographs of one party’s activities to support a prospective Parliamentary candidate appeared on social media.

Coun Victoria Felton represents the Veterans and Democrats party for the Monk Bretton ward on Barnsley Council, forming part of the official opposition Barnsley Independent Group (BIG).

She is also the PPC for the Brexit Party, standing for the Barnsley Central constituency in a move supported by BIG, and is now stepping up her campaign ahead of next month’s poll.

The group has been using its office at Barnsley Town Hall for administrative work as part of that campaign, with photographs of the activity published on a Facebook site.

Now Barnsley Council has issued a notice to all political parties, with specific guidance to BIG’s leader Coun Phillip Birkinshaw.

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He accepted the council’s position was correct and has apologised, but said the situation arose from a belief that other political groups had historically used their Town Hall offices to support candidates in general elections.

“I have apologised and said anything to do with the election would be removed,” said Coun Birkinshaw, adding he was told all political parties would be made aware their offices could not be used for general election purposes.

The BIG office had been used to store campaign literature, which has now been moved elsewhere, with the group still using it for their local authority duties.

Barnsley Council have confirmed the authority’s political groups have been contacted over the issue.

BIG had originally planned to field its own candidates for the Barnsley constituency seats, but pulled back on that idea after Coun Felton was selected to represent the Brexit party in Barnsley Central.

When that was announced, Coun Birkinshaw said BIG supported the UK leaving the European Union and did not want to dilute the vote.

Coun Felton’s general election campaign is now being orchestrated from alternative premises.

* Provided by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.