As much as I would like to, it is a fact that even in election season it will be impossible to see and interact with every resident in the ward. People will be out, some folks don’t like talking on the doorstep and a variety of other reasons. Yet it is also true that throughout the year one of the big complaints is that they never see their local representatives. This is a topic very close to my heart and is why I have been standing up in front of the Kingsway community for the past number of years at well attended public meetings. A more and more popular way to interact now is Social Media, and that is why today I have launched a hashtag (#) for Twitter – #OurGrangeandKingsway.
The idea is that we can use this to highlight issues in our community and the local people who “do” can also use it as another device to see what needs to be done. So if you are a twitter user, and you want to highlight things within Grange and Kingsway just add the hashtag #OurGrangeandKingsway to the end of your tweet and I can make sure it is picked up and addressed.
I think that it is really important to be flexible in how elected representatives make themselves contactable, and one of the biggest groups that will rarely approach are the younger members in our society, but it is they who are the biggest users of social media. I already do a lot of keyword searching on Twitter to see how people feel about the likes of Quedgeley, Kingsway, Grange, Gloucester and Gloucestershire and the amount of times you see statements like “Quedgeley is Crap” and the like is higher than I’d like to admit, but it also means I can tweet the user back and ask them why they think that and what would make it better.
It’s not the be all and end all, but it gives people another medium to have their say in making our community better. Don;t worry if you’re not sure which council it falls under, I know that Cllr Chris Chatterton, City Councillor for Grange, is also getting them, and if the right person isn’t on Twitter, we can make sure it gets to them. It’s not just “bad” things either – what positives do you like and would like to see continued, protected and perhaps developed further?
To get you started, what are your thoughts on:
- What would you like to see in the next phase of the Kingsway Shops?
- Which is the worst road that needs fixed urgently?
- Have we got enough Sports facilities?
- Do we need another Secondary School in the Area?
- Do you think we should merge the City and County Council to save money?
Of course, you may want to express yourself in more than 140 characters, so please do feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, ring me on 07951330534, drop me a letter to 70 Thatcham Ave, Kingsway or even knock on the door. Hope to hear from you soon.