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Scrutiny in the spotlight: Networked Councillors and the Scrutiny process
Role of the Networked Councillor
Scrutiny in the Spotlight workshop
Catherine Howe, Public-i
What’s the plan?
Explore what we mean by
Discuss some of the tools
which they might use
Talk about what this means
Gaze into the future a bit
Technology or Social Change?
Any of these disruptions might be a point of entry for how someone
thinks about digital
Self Publication: Disintermediation of the Media
Virtual Community and Social Networking: Wide scale use of Networked
Collaborative Culture: Creating a sharing economy
Radical Openness: Disruption of the democratic relationship
Networked Technology: Smart Cities and new streams of information
Customization, Making and Self-Service: Disruption of manufacturing and
the industrial economy
An effective community leader in a
digital and networked world
The range of networked behaviours
We have developed a model of Networked Councillor behaviours
Tell people what you have done
Discuss with people what you are doing
Agree with people what you could do together
Digital tools are important.
Networked thinking is essential.
Good uses for content creation on a range of devices
Quick video/audio interviews
Creating pictures, video and audio
Email, blog reading
Light editing of video, audio, pictures
Blogging, writing, editing
Full editing of media (pictures, video, audio)
Detailed work – spreadsheets, etc.
Responding in detail to emails, blogs (commenting)
Some examples of online tools & their uses
Can be updated regularly and posts
(like this one) don’t have to be long
Allows residents to comment on
issues – and for councillors to respond
You can go into detail and combine
different media (words, pictures, video)
Audience can include anyone (you
don’t need an account to read and is
easy to publicise)
Great for showing the full range
of your views
Allows quick sharing of media content
Can connect to much wider group,
who often are unlikely to use other
Great for managing large number of
Can run pages (public) and profile
(public or private) separately
Facebook algorithms make some
aspects of using it abstruse
Privacy issues for some – in particular
keeping private/public separate
Great for finding people and
Great for quick responses and
Share links to content (news, blog
A social tool – for talking with others,
not for broadcast
Audience is smaller than than
Great for helping to build links with
individuals and organisations (through
Great for finding people and
Shows network of connections
Demonstrates skills and experience
(good for digital footprint)
Establishes links with business
Audience is professional and
Difficult to see full profiles
You have to pay for full access
Best for managing your
interactive chat had
3,981 page views & 242
trended on Twitter
“I strongly believe that these numbers
prove that by enabling people to take an
active role in the debate, by marrying up
the available technology with transparency
and democracy - a direct line into the
Chamber - we can encourage more people
to take an interest in local politics.”
Matt Bond, Communications Specialist
Designed to provide a single place to connect to your content
Gives councillors identity on webcasting
Shows their democratic record – allowing you to trace their activity
Audience is completely open
Can integrate other social media activity
People struggle more
with the social skills
than the technical
What does it mean when some
one ‘RT’s me?
Do I have to have a
How do I deal with conflict?
It’s not just help with the
technical skills –
It’s about understanding culture
and behaviour online
How public do I have to be?
What can I talk about?
Exploring the skills in your council
What do you already use social media for either personally or professionally?
Do you have any networked councillors?
What is there role in the scrutiny process?
Scrutiny is a great place to start
Ideal for more open democracy?
There is the opportunity for the public to contribute to the agenda
The format follows a topic rather than a formal committee structure
The process can involve many different people from different networks
Openness is at the heart of the scrutiny process
It can work well with other digital democracy projects such as open data
Open up the agenda setting
New approaches to
Extend the reach of the
There are many ways to use social
media in scrutiny in a meaningful
Embed open government
Work more responsively
Examples of Networked Councillor qualities in Scrutiny
Open by default
Comments from the public are
encouraged during meetings via
social media and other channels
Minutes of meetings and related
papers available online - meetings
are either webcast or live tweeted
and widely disseminated online
Decisions are shaped with active
citizens who continue to participate
actively in the outcome
Decisions are communicated via relevant
networks rather than being simply
What is the role of information in scrutiny?
Blogging in Scrutiny
Emma is using her
blog to explain the
budget process in
Twitter updates around scrutiny
Both officers and members are using twitter to highlight what is
happening in scrutiny
Webcasting in action in a highly sensitive scrutiny case
Webcasting a difficult issue makes it clear you are being open
Using an online community forum to engage people in
Party Houses Scrutiny
Going to people’s
own spaces can
involve a much more
diverse group of
Tough Choices Devon
How could you use these ideas in the future
Decide on a topic that you want to work on – it could be anything that is
topical in your council or even better in the local community
What would a ‘networked scrutiny’ process look like?
What tools would you use?
What bits of the process would you change?
Who would be involved?
What is stopping you??
Social media and the digital realm
can be challenging.
It is the poorer for the absence of
our democratic processes
Thank you for your time