Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Councils told: embrace social networks

  • Comment
Councils are being encouraged to exploit social networking - but have been told to be aware it will take more than setting up local government areas on sites such as Facebook.

Andy Sawford, the chief executive of the Local Government Information Unit, said that while such sites could play a key role in encouraging more people - especially the young - to play an active part in local decision-making, a concerted approach was needed to make the most of the opportunities they offered.

Speaking after the Local Government Information Unit’s launch of a pathfinder project into the phenomenon, Mr Sawford said that more work was necessary to ensure staff had the right skills to utilise social networking sites, and that people had access to them.

But he warned that sentiment so-far expressed suggested that engaging with younger web users needed to be more subtle than simply asking them to tell councils what they think.

He said submissions from young people suggested that adults were not the best people to engage with younger people.

“They were saying that if you do this through youth clubs, you will get taken up,” he said.

“We envisage that the pathfinder be between 10 and 15 authorities, involved in developing simple guidelines based on what works.”

Mr Sawford said that while younger residents were not exclusively the focus of the drive, children were “the most advanced users” of the technology, and spent the most time on social networking sites.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.