Thursday, 25 February 2010

Local Councillors Stuck In The Dark Ages

West Dorset District council recently uploaded a video on You Tube to communicate its plans for new offices in Dorchester, Dorset. In the six minute video, chief executive David Clarke explains that the current offices are not fit for purpose and shows viewers what the new buildings will look like.

Local websites such as and happily embedded the clip into their websites and the video received over 200 hits in just three days. That's pretty impressive for the small historic county town of Dorchester.

What happened next literally astounds me. Instead of embracing this new form of free, two-way, accessible communication, local councillors were apparently outraged that they had not been consulted about using You Tube (ironically this was probably because were concerned about the risk to their reputations). Then instead of resolving the issue internally, these councillors went straight to a popular local newspaper and voiced their concerns to the entire local area!

In the Dorset Echo article entitled 'Anger over West Dorset District Council's Charles Street release on You Tube', Councillor Molly Rennie, said: “Why don’t we listen as a council? Consultation is not about leaflets and it is certainly not about You Tube. How many of you look at YouTube to find out what is happening? It should be about talking directly to the public and listening to what they have to say.”

If this comment isn't enough to get you social media enthusiasts fired up, in the same article Councillor Stella Jones said: “How much did this video cost and why do we have to go to YouTube to see it?”. Hang on - why do we have to go to You Tube?? Forgive me if I'm wrong but You Tube isn't a Mount Everest climb, it's a free website that everyone in Dorchester (and the rest of the world) can access from the comfort of their homes.

This is certainly a reality check. I must admit I found it difficult to believe that there are still organisations in the UK with such archaic views. Below is the video that was uploaded onto You Tube:

If you are on team social networking, perhaps a few comments on this You Tube video would set them straight.

1 comment:

  1. Good blog Beth, this deserves a wider audience...need to drag the councillors into at least the 20th Century even if hoping for the 21st is just too much!