July 1, 2016 Leave a comment
January 5, 2014 Leave a comment
Up-to-date, relevant, non-self-serving, way to go
Councillor Andrew Wallis, Independent Cornwall councillor for Porthleven and Helston West and member of Porthleven Town Council
I just did a quick search for ‘councillor blog’. A few came up – the council leader in Edinburgh and Carole in Camden (both with plenty to say) but this was the most recent – and I like it because it’s reminding/informing people to register their kids for school – which is useful. And useful is good.
September 30, 2013 Leave a comment
Claire Wright got me moving. (I’ve let this slide for far too long. What I wouldn’t give for an exhaustive resource of councillor blogs).
I haven’t had a thorough look at Claire’s website yet but from what I have seen, it’s individual, informed and informative.
Check it out here.
April 27, 2013 Leave a comment
It’s been a while since I wrote.
I got a job as a reporter – trainee on a daily paper. So it’s been all go – or at least all go enough not to want to head back to the computer when I get home.
But this has been preying on my mind and I’ve been wondering how best to continue – and the truth is I haven’t got there yet.
But what I do know – for what it’s worth – is that if only a councillor where I’m working had a useful blog, I would look at it – and if there was anything (anything) worth reporting on, report on it I would. And not because I’d be doing him or her a favour, but because as a reporter I’m looking for news. And the things you lot are up to or concerned about – the cost of parking, the new shopping centre, the bin collections – are the things our readers are concerned about too.
So, for now forget what I said about blogs – about them allowing residents to find out what you’re up to. Perhaps they never will look at a councillor blog, or only rarely – like they’ll only rarely come to meetings. But a reporter will look and will write about what you’re concerned about and what they’re concerned about, and then your constituents will read about it in the paper – because people do still read papers – and so it really is worth doing.
So blog on.
March 29, 2013 Leave a comment
Emma Coad Dent writes very well. And she writes thoughtfully and thoroughly. Some will agree with her politics, some won’t. It’s not my job to comment on that here. What it is my job to do is to say here’s a councillor who’s got something to say and she says it with oomph. It rings with truth and compassion and humour. This is a blog worth reading.
March 28, 2013 Leave a comment
Councillor Blogs is a website devoted to local councillor blogs in England and Wales.
There are very few councillors blogging as far as I can tell which seems a shame – and/but/so this is to help you find those that do, big up those who deserve it, and encourage more to have a go.
March 10, 2013 Leave a comment
Councillor Nick Wallis wrote to tell me that his email newsletters reach residents more successfully than his blog ever did. I’d written to him because I wanted to feature his blog – I liked that his site includes links to local blogs by councillors from all parties, not just his own – but I’d noticed it was very out of date.
He explained that although the blog had improved his profile, he felt newsletters were more useful.
“The blog never reached out to the people who are most important to me – the residents who live in my ward,” he said. “For that reason I chose to stop blogging, and concentrate on email newsletters, which I find much more productive.”
He has about 370 addresses from his ward, which he circulates newsletters to monthly.
And he’s absolutely right. Newsletters are great if you know who to send them to. They go straight to someone’s inbox. And people are more likely to read a newsletter than check a website or set up an alert to tell them about a blog’s latest post.
The difficulty is knowing who to send them to. People new to the area won’t get Mr Wallis’s newsletter. And residents not normally involved in local issues who find themselves needing his help won’t get it either.
And that’s where the blog comes in. More and more of us know how to search online. By typing in an area and ‘councillor’, and pressing ‘search’, blogging councillors (if there are any) will appear.
Seeing a councillor’s face, reading a little of what that councillor’s been up to or is concerned about, recognising that this is a councillor that actually does stuff – that’s what gives a resident the confidence to pick up the phone and ask for help. Finding a name and contact number on the council website can’t do that.
So, please blog. Newsletters are brilliant – please do those too! – but blog as well. It really needn’t be much extra work. The information on both will be the same, the newsletter pretty much the latest set of posts copied from the blog – or vice versa.
Councillor Wallis tells me I might yet nudge him back into blogging again. I hope so – because his site Darlington Councillor is great. Have a look see.