Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 15°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.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Police searching for 53-year-old Bruce Antell reported missing from Newmarket have reported that a body has been found in east Sussex.

A former Colchester man who raped and sexually assaulted a schoolgirl has been jailed for 12 years.

Organisers of an annual Suffolk theatre festival have revealed plans to take this year’s shows on the road for a new venture.

Ipswich could be one of the worst-hit cities in Britain if the country faces a “hard Brexit” with no access to the European single market after we leave the EU.

Detectives investigating two fires – one of which destroyed an outdoor classroom in Christchurch Park – are appealing to the public to help them establish what happened.

A 69-year-old dance teacher who completed a 500-mile trek across Spain with a trolley last month is urging people to sign up for a Sudbury walking event.

The owner of a one-year-old tabby cat says she ‘cannot believe that someone would be so cruel’ after her beloved pet was shot twice with an airgun in Ipswich.

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

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24