County coun­cil har­nessed so­cial me­dia to cap­ture elec­tion drama

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COUNTY COUNCIL ELECTIONS -

BUCKS County Coun­cil (BCC) har­nessed the power of so­cial me­dia in a unique way of cap­tur­ing the ex­cite­ment of the lo­cal elec­tion count.

A team of ded­i­cated staff at coun­cil head­quar­ters set up a Face­book Live stream of the event, show­ing a pie chart of the seats won by par­ties.

A cam­era had been set up to fo­cus on a cir­cle which was bro­ken down into six colours, each rep­re­sent­ing the par­ties that were stand­ing.

As each count came in an icon was placed on the cor­re­spond­ing colour – red for Labour, yel­low for the Lib­eral Democrats, pur­ple for UKIP, blue for the Con­ser­va­tives, green for the Green Party and grey for the In­de­pen­dents.

Peo­ple fol­low­ing the stream were able to keep up with the ac­tion live and, de­spite a few hic­cups, it was an over­all suc­cess.

A BCC spokesper­son said: “We’re de­lighted with the pos­i­tive feed­back from our Face­book Live stream and we’ll cer­tainly be look­ing to use it again in the fu­ture.

“So­cial me­dia has been a key tool dur­ing the cam­paign to in­crease aware­ness of the lo­cal elec­tions, and we’re pleased that turnout is up 4% from 2013.”

Can­di­dates have also re­acted to the news that the Con­ser­va­tives in­creased their ma­jor­ity from four years ago, UKIP los­ing all of their seats and the in­cum­bent ed­u­ca­tion chief los­ing out to Labour.

Mark Shaw, who was de­fend­ing his Che­sham seat for the Con­ser­va­tives, said: “Per­son­ally I was de­lighted with my re­sult.

“My ma­jor­ity in­creased by about 400% so it was a strong level of sup­port from lo­cal res­i­dents.

“I’m pleased, but at the end of the day you get elected to do the job and tomorrow I will be busy talk­ing to res­i­dents about lo­cal is­sues and con­cerns and fight­ing to get the best deal for Che­sham and the best deal for res­i­dents.”

Chris Brown, who was stand­ing as an In­de­pen­dent can­di­date in Ger­rards Cross in his third elec­tion, said: “My con­grat­u­la­tions to Bar­bara Gibbs as our new county coun­cil­lor for Ger­rards Cross.

“I have al­ready spo­ken with Bar­bara and will be work­ing closely with her in the fu­ture on be­half of Ger­rards Cross.

“I will also con­tinue to work with BCC on Ger­rards Cross be­ing a pi­lot for fill­ing pot­holes and clear­ing drains, un­der the De­volved Bud­get scheme.

“I have a meet­ing with BCC on this sub­ject later this month.

“I will en­deav­our to im­ple­ment the ac­tions on my elec­tion flyer in my role of town coun­cil­lor.”

Mr Brown, who is cur­rently the chair­man of Ger­rards Cross Town Coun­cil, came sec­ond to Bar­bara Gibbs, who re­ceived 584 votes – more than the Lib Dem and Labour vote com­bined.

Ralph Bagge, new­ly­elected county coun­cil­lor for Stoke Po­ges and Wex­ham, took to Twit­ter to thank ev­ery­one that voted for him.

He wrote: “Proud to be elected to Bucks County Coun­cil. Heart­felt thanks to all 1,512 who voted for me.

“A big ‘thank you’ to all my lo­cal elec­tors for their sup­port and in­deed those across Bucks who helped re­turned Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil­lors.”

David Martin, re-elected in Chal­font St Peter, said: “Once again my sin­cere thanks go out to the res­i­dents of Chal­font St Peter for giv­ing me the hon­our of rep­re­sent­ing them at the county coun­cil.

“I com­mend Dan Gal­lagher, my Lib Dem op­po­nent, for giv­ing me a very hard and clean fight through­out, but again res­i­dents have sup­ported the can­di­date with a long record of ser­vice to our vil­lage.

“We live in chal­leng­ing times and all lo­cal au­thor­i­ties are faced with ev­er­in­creas­ing de­mands on ser­vice pro­vi­sion with limited re­sources, par­tic­u­larly in the ar­eas of safe­guard­ing our vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren and car­ing for the old and frail.

“I shall work with and for all res­i­dents, as hard and ef­fec­tively as I can.”

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