Rain

Rain

max temp: 3°C

min temp: 1°C

Search

Colchester: Council tries to stop members Tweeting or updating Facebook during public meetings

PUBLISHED: 14:00 23 February 2013

Councillors could be banned from Tweeting and posting to Facebook during meetings

Councillors could be banned from Tweeting and posting to Facebook during meetings

COUNCILLORS in Colchester could be banned from using Twitter or Facebook in public meetings.

A specialist committee set up to look at technology use at Colchester Borough Council has put forward the recommendation and asked the cabinet to make it official policy when it meets on March 6.

According to councillor Pauline Hazell, who sits on the Technology and Community Engagement Task and Finish Group, the subject of social media misuse is being tackled prior to council members being issued with iPads and similar devices.

She said: “It was felt that it would be beneficial that councillors had iPads. It will save on paper and mean they can access relevant information from the internet during meetings.

“But questions were raised about councillors who had used Facebook or Twitter during the meetings. There’s a concern this is not appropriate and that the iPads should only be used for the job in hand.”

She said councillors who did not already have an iPad would be encouraged to buy a tablet or similar device from their own allowances. Currently, the council spends £19,000 a year on printing out council agendas and reports for members.

Self-pronounced Twitter addict, councillor Sue Lissmore, who is a member of the group, said she felt councillors using social media during public meetings ran the risk of “getting an unrepresentative view” from residents.

She added: “In the ward where I live, many of the residents are elderly and they don’t use social media. If a councillor is asking for feedback on Twitter during a meeting, they are likely to only get a response from a select few which might warp their view.”

But popular online commentator Jason Cobb, who writes the Colchester Chronicle blog, said he felt councillors using social media during meetings helped make the democratic process “less secretive”.

He said: “With all the motions and jargon used at meetings, a tweet from a councillor can help clarify things. It can help in opening up the way the council works.”

Few of us can imagine what it feels like to be born in a body that you do not recognise as your own.

Police have launched an attempted murder investigation after a 17-year-old boy was stabbed in Osborne Street, Colchester, in the early hours of this morning.

A new road, which ran almost £5m over budget, faces fresh controversy after it emerged a council employee involved in the project also completed work for the road’s developers through his private company.

A damning dossier compiled by a senior whistleblower from the region’s ambulance trust has claimed at least 40 patients died or were harmed due to delays over Christmas and New Year - including one person who froze to death.

Emergency services were called to an incident in Stoke-by-Nayland where a car overturned and ended up on its roof.

A Suffolk family had the BBC’s DIY SOS team spend 10 days at their property in November.

Witham MP Priti Patel is urging schools in the region to take advantage of the opportunity to visit the infamous Holocaust concentration camp Auschwitz, as part of a nationwide programme to educate pupils of the atrocities.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24