Technology

How can local authorities use technology and data to deliver better public services and harness social media for better interaction with citizens?

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Transparency, open government and equal rights for citizen journalists

This post was originally published on the Guardian Local Government Network Communities and local government minister Eric Pickles and his department are encouraging town halls to open their doors to bloggers and allow online filming of public discussions. Local government minister, Bob Neil, wrote to councils: “Opening the door to new media costs nothing and will…

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Making a difference with data

Yesterday the Making a Difference With Data site launched at madwdata.org.uk .  This is an interesting initiative (disclaimer: I am co-editor of the local authority section with Ingrid Koehler) which aims to help practitioners, councillors and active citizens alike to publish and use data more effectively.  It covers the local authority (transparency and democracy), education, health…

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Public goal setting would allow councillors to generate collective action

 After watching this youtube video from the Green Party, I’ve spent sometime this afternoon Googling  ‘what does a councillor do?’ It returns some quite interesting results – from drab, vague descriptions “Councillors, or members, are elected by local people to plan, run, monitor and develop council business”, to this quirkly little  game. All however are really…

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TweetyHall added to online councillor seminar

I’m delighted to announce that Lauren Ivory from TweetyHall will be popping in to our online councillor event this Thursday to deliver a special presentation. The day also features sessions from Hugh Flouch of Networked Neighbourhoods and Harringay Online, Cllr James Cousins of the www.jamescousins.com and David Wilcox aka the social reporter. If you’re intersted there are still a…

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myCllr – another online tool towards Gov 2.0?

Continuing my theme of posts on the ‘new political literacy’ I thought it would be interesting to interview Luke Bozier, MD of myCllr, to find out how he believes the service can strengthen local democracy and what it can do to put citizens better in control of their lives, communities and local services. What follows is…

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GUEST POST: Saddleworth News – how hyperlocals are building social capital

Richard Jones, editor of Saddleworth News, has done a cracking job chronicaling the daily drama surrounding the Oldham East and Saddleworth byelection. Being a Saddleworth resident, his interviews with the candidates added true local value and perspective to the election and (I believe) ultimately helped voters make more informed decisions on issues relevant to their community. To understand more about…

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Directly elected mayors, how council websites can do more and ideas on the Health & Social Care Bill

Heseltine backs ‘directly elected chief executives’ – There’s lots of debate today about elected mayors having chief executive powers. If councillors and community want directly elected mayors with chief executive powers then their introduction could work – however if these changes are imposed upon councils they have the potential to become a very expensive reorganisation that does little to strengthen local…

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GUEST POST: Using council websites to help local residents generate social capital

I attended the Netroots event last Saturday. there was a real conflict between traditional politics and the developing gov2.0 ideology (here’s a folder with some relevant commentary pieces that discuss this). To explore this debate further, over the next few weeks I’m hoping to invite some of the ‘vanguards’ of this new political literacy to write about how they believe…

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#localgov twitter lists

We’ve spent some time during the last week building up the LGIU’s following list and now that we are networked to over 1,300 profiles it’s quite clear that things need a bit of organisation. We are therefore going to experiment over the festive period building some nice twitter lists. So far, the plan is to create…

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*seminar* The ‘Online’ Councillor: behaviours for online collaboration & community engagement

The expectations are growing on councillors to engage, work openly, be more accountable and move quicker on issues – and social media represents an extraordinary opportunity to do this – Andy Gibson, Sociability.org.uk The LGIU has been working alongside its members, analysing the new forms of online political participation and taking positive steps to embed…

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