Kettering councillors allowed to tweet decisions at council meetings

Kettering councillors will now be able to report decisions made during meetings.

Kettering councillors will now be able to report decisions made during meetings.

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Kettering councillors will be able to tweet decisions made during council meetings after a rule over their use of social media was amended.

The suggested protocol banned councillors from using social media to report the outcome of an agenda until after the meeting had concluded.

But an amendment pushed through this week means councillors can now use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to inform residents as soon as a decision is made.

Cllr Michael Brown, one of the youngest Kettering councillors, was one of the amendment’s backers.

And he says the move is a sign of the future of communications at the council.

He said: “The amendment had a majority support and we’re adapting rules to cope with new technology.

“This will open up the council to a wider audience and will really open up debate.

“There are lots of people who can’t make meetings because they are in the evening and they still want to know what’s going on.

“Sometimes meetings don’t finish until 11pm at night and by that time many will be asleep.

“This allows us to quickly update the public over decisions that affect them.”

Councillors will still not be allowed to enter direct contact with a member of the public on social media during a council debate, or use social media at planning and licensing committees.

Cllr Brown added: “We must give our full attention during planning and licensing meetings so can’t use social media then, but this is the future of communcations.

“There are lots of different ideas at the council and this is a key difference between the new breed of councillors and the old school and traditional ones.

“In the future I think using social media will be fully open but this is a small step on the path to modernising local Government.”