by Stephen Tall on June 30, 2009
Today’s Times reports on the growth of Twitter and Facebook among councillors, noting in particular the work of one Lib Dem councillor/blogger, Daisy Benson:
Daisy Benson, a Liberal Democrat member of Reading Borough Council, used Facebook to encourage young people to take part in a scrutiny review of the standard of private rented housing in the area. “I used it because the issue we were looking at particularly affected students and young people and it’s a good way to reach them.”
Benson set up a Facebook group and listed the consultation questions. The group attracted more than 80 members. Among them was a local student, Neal Brown, who says that it was the first time he had taken part in a council initiative. “Facebook makes it easier for young people and students to get involved. While joining relatively silly groups about TV shows and such like, they are also joining groups with serious intent.”
Benson adds: “I’m certainly trying to impress on my council that using Facebook is a good thing to do. It’s cheap and it reaches a lot of people but it wouldn’t be suitable for every issue or every audience.”
The use of social networking by councillors (and MPs) is frequently highlighted here on LDV – but what are the best examples you’ve seen, whether by Lib Dems or by other parties?