Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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

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.”

0 comments

Controversial Labour peer Baroness Chakrabarti has angered Essex politicians after she declared “Don’t lock me in a room with Essex man” at the Labour Party conference.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry speaks during the second day of the Labour Party conference in Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 26, 2016. See PA story LABOUR Main. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

One of the region’s top farming representatives has warned that the British food and farming sector must remain productive and competitive as Labour announced it was looking to shake up current subsidy rules post-Brexit.

Photo by Angela Sharpe of Ellough Park Raceway

The man, in his early 60s, had been celebrating his brother’s birthday and was karting at the circuit, near Beccles, when he was reportedly involved in a collision with another go-kart.

Landlord of the Eels Foot Inn, Julian Wallace,  had to issue paper invoices to bill patrons after his phone lines went down last week

The Eels Foot Inn in Eastbridge has been forced to use paper invoices to bill their patrons after its phone lines and broadband went down for a week.

Corrie McKeague

Police are concerned for the welfare of a 23-year-old man from Bury St Edmunds who has been missing since Saturday morning.

Philip Morant School

From now on students will choose their own homework at a school in Colchester.

The Essex and Herts Air Ambulance

A man has been taken to hospital in a serious condition following a motorcycle crash in Blythburgh this morning.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24