Coun­cil­lors and the use of so­cial me­dia

The Oban Times - - Letters -

Sir, Con­grat­u­la­tions to The Oban Times for high­light­ing the shift in lo­cal democ­racy brought about by so­cial me­dia (‘Coun­cil­lors plea for end to crit­i­cisms on so­cial me­dia’, The Oban Times, Fe­bru­ary 16).

Now ap­par­ently, when res­i­dents want to com­plain about a prob­lem they go first to their favourite so­cial me­dia site to ex­press their frus­tra­tion. Pre­vi­ously, they would have got onto their lo­cal coun­cil­lor for the area but, un­for­tu­nately, it is not pos­si­ble for a coun­cil­lor to mon­i­tor the so­cial me­dia sites of each in­di­vid­ual res­i­dent in their ward.

With re­gard to the prob­lems with refuse col­lec­tion in Soroba, it seems from your re­port that the in­ter­net was awash with com­plaints be­fore it reached the at­ten­tion of lo­cal Coun­cil­lor Mary-Jean Devon.

Once she was aware of the is­sues she took im­me­di­ate ac­tion to ad­dress the prob­lem. The les­son is that res­i­dents can crit­i­cise the coun­cil over a prob­lem on so­cial me­dia, which is prob­a­bly all that some peo­ple ac­tu­ally want to do, but if you re­ally want some­thing done about it you should con­tact your lo­cal coun­cil­lor.

Each coun­cil­lor has an email ad­dress and some of them have a Face­book page. Sadly, so­cial me­dia seems to bring out the nasty side of some users and coun­cil­lors have to put up with un­called for abuse, an un­for­tu­nate by-prod­uct of be­ing in the pub­lic arena.

Ac­tu­ally, the front page ar­ti­cle the week be­fore (Fe­bru­ary 9) con­cerned the same prob­lem about bin col­lec­tions in Soroba and that ar­ti­cle de­scribes how lo­cal Coun­cil­lor Roddy McCuish had be­come in­volved on be­half of lo­cal res­i­dents. David Pol­lard, Salen, Isle of Mull.

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