County council harnessed social media to capture election drama
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.”