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Should councillors join Facebook?

The Local Government Information Unit are holding an "action learning set" (a conference? a course?) to encourage councillors who want to be really groovy dudes that they should join this amazing new thing called Facebook, which the young people are frightfully keen on. It seems to cost Councils £1,175 to send youth workers to this event or £1,527.50.

You will be relieved to hear that I have already joined Facebook at no cost to the Council Taxpayer. I was rather cynical about the whole thing as time wasting and listing all sorts of "friends" that people scarcely know. However I have found as a councillor it was almost a requirement to join when a Facebook group was started called Save the Anglesea Arms about licensing objections to a (very good) pub in my ward. Joining Facebook was the most effective way of communicating with the residents involved.

What I find tiresome about Facebook is when people send messages to me via it rather than my usual email address. This means I have to log on to respond. I think increasingly councillors will find it advantageous to join though. But not to attend courses about it.


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