Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 0°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.

shares

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.”

shares

0 comments

Will we see snow tomorrow?

In the first of our daily guides to days out in Ipswich, we bring you rollerskating sessions, football and the possibility of snow play in Christchurch Park.

Drive safely in wintery weather

Temperatures have again dropped and there is a risk of snow - bringing fresh dangers to our roads.

Centre manager Andy Gillon holds Riley in the puppy unit at the new Blue Cross Centre in Ipswich.

Cats and dogs looking for new loving families can now enjoy a stay at a state-of-the-art centre while they wait.

Len Phoenix with his latest swimming medals taking his total to over 1000.

A grand achievement has been celebrated by one Suffolk swimmer, whose passion for the sport has taken him all over the world.

Fire engines

Fire crews tackled a blaze at a large outbuilding earlier today (February 14).

Police cordon in St Botolph's Street, Colchester, February 14 2016. Picture: @Disco_77

A man is in a critical but stable condition after a fight in the early hours of the morning.

Warren Hill at Hollesley Bay

A Hollesley Bay absconder who went missing on Wednesday January 27 has been detained in Hertfordshire.

Most read

Fred Olsen Travel Sale

cover

Click here to view
the Fred Olsen
Travel Sale

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24