If local leaders are to remain connected and relevant to their communities, local democratic engagement and communications needs to change. And fast.
TweetyHall is our online community, news sharing resource and search engine for local elected politicians on Twitter, helping members of the public find their local politician, connect and stay in touch. At the time FutureGov set up TweetyHall with its partners at the Local Government Association, there were few local politicians willing to participate online. 3 years on, there are over 650 local politicians recorded as tweeting in the UK, and we are always on the look out for more.
TweetyHall is followed by national and trade journalists, councillors, council leaders, and key influencers in local and central government. TweetyHall is a significant channel for promoting the work and views of councillors, connecting them with constituents and one another as well as bringing transparency to the daily lives of local politicians.
FutureGov has also played a role in guiding and developing the online presence for the 21st Century Councillor programme with the LGA, co-authoring the guidance and building and managing the website.
At a local level, we have supported Swindon, Coventry, NW Leicestershire and Kirklees to better engage online, including helping them to find the right ‘voice’for them online; mapping out local online communities to better connect with; and researching how residents and members alike want to engage to help redesign how digital engagement is undertaken locally.
Through these projects we have supported local leaders to start to think strategically about how online might support their work and help them better engage on and offline.