Issue - meetings

Digital Communications Strategy

Meeting: 07/05/2013 - Cabinet (Item 36)

36 Digital Communications Strategy (Agenda item 8) pdf icon PDF 1006 KB

Report of Ian Sherwood, Executive Member for Performance & Business Development.


The Executive Member for Performance and Business Development presented the report which sought Members’ approval of the Breckland Digital Communications Strategy and the implementation of associated actions.


The Digital Communications Strategy comprised of two parts, the first being the Strategy itself and the second the Action Plan (attached at Appendix A of the report).  Members were asked to note the final action which was to continue research and development as technology and social media opportunities arose.  The Government was constantly issuing new instructions to all Councils that it wanted the migration of people to digital as a key target. 


The recommendations were highlighted.


The Executive Member for Internal Services referred to recommendation (d), the cessation of the Council’s magazine.  He felt that ‘Voice’ had helped the Council in many ways over the years particularly in relation to customer satisfaction. He also felt that the time to cease the paper copy would be when an electronic version was available; he did not agree that it should be stopped now as it was a magazine that was appreciated by everyone who did not have access to IT.


The Executive Member also referred to other elements such as the cost of the Digital Newsroom; however, he was happy to support them all but not the cessation of Voice.


The Vice-Chairman wondered whether the timing of this report was appropriate as it seemed to be a desire from Government that Councils should not compete against newspapers.  He did not want the Council to contravene a piece of legalisation and therefore felt that Breckland Council should wait until the consultation/White Paper had been completed.


The Executive Member for Localism, Community & Environmental Services reminded Members of the results from the ‘Could We Should We’ exercise one of which was to stop Voice.  Referring to recommendation (b) of the report she felt that it would be rather prudent to approvethe creation of a ‘digital newsroom’ and suggested that the word ‘approve’ be changed to ‘investigate’. She further suggested that a survey should be undertaken to establish Breckland residents preferred communication channels.


The proposal to change the word ‘approve’ to ‘investigate’ in relation to recommendation (b) was seconded.


The Executive Support Member for Finance & Democratic Services agreed with the aforementioned suggestion.  All the public wanted was reassurance that there was someone to contact if there was a problem.  She raised concerns about the Council’s Twitter account not having a corporate image unlike the Voice magazine which, in her opinion, did have a corporate image and was delivered to every household in Breckland. 


The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development was unsure whether the Council had any evidence of target audience but pointed out that the real interface with the public was through the Ward Representatives.  He mentioned the Parish magazines that were delivered free to residents most of which had a space available for Ward Reps to add a few lines too.


The Executive Support Member for Performance & Business Development urged the Cabinet to support the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36