There’s no denying that digital tools have a big part to play in local democracy. I’ve run two projects in my home town to show how just how much impact they can have
Facebook is well used in my neighbourhood, so it’s the ideal way to get people together and swap ideas.
When Sainsburys threatened to take over a local pub in Old Town, I set up a group to galvanise local campaigners. It helped them share latest news, organise events and plenty more. I fondly remember waving a fake fish outside Sainsburys London HQ in protest.
I also established the Old Town Facebook group where anyone is free to post. The group is up to almost 1000 followers already and is a rich source of local information. I also helped regular contributors become moderators and pass their Facebook knowledge on.
I’ve a few aims with this project. First, to encourage similar ‘village green’ style groups to spring up across Eastbourne. Second, to encourage local councillors to join them, be visible and understand how to better signpost people to help. Third, to find better ways of reaching non Facebook users, for example young people who’re leaving the platform.
It’s a big challenge – wish me luck!
How I can help you
- Encouraging use of digital engagement tools in your community
- Training managers and councillors to get online