The Leeds Met Students’ Union Executives are showing Leeds City councillors who appear to be stuck in the dark ages just how useful a few Tweets during a meeting can be.
Earlier this week the Lord Mayor, Cllr Judith Elliot, banned councillors James Lewis and Jamie Matthews from using Twitter during meetings of the full council. The ruling has been heavily criticised by councillors and senior PR professionals who believe a Twitter or two can be a very effective way to communicate important information to wider audience.
Will Watson, Associate President Education, is an avid Tweeter and will often keep the students of Leeds Met updated on the Union’s Executive meetings via the social media platform.
Will said: “Twitter is fantastic way to engage with our students over issues that matter to them, the ruling to ban our city’s councillors from tweeting is an absurdly arcane measure. Councils should strive to move with the times just like business do; social media is an ever growing beast and used in the correct way can be extremely powerful.”
Monday sees the monthly Executive meeting and Will, along with other executive officers will all be tweeting away.
Councillor James Lewis said: “The incident in question was a very important housing plan for a part of Kippax just outside of Leeds, the public gallery was empty so I thought I would try to inform as many of my followers on Twitter as I could. It’s great that the politicians of the future are engaging with their publics using social media and I hope they continue to do so.
Stuart Bruce, managing director of Leeds-based public relations and social media consultancy Wolfstar said:
“New media and the internet doesn’t replace traditional political channels, but it’s playing an increasingly important part. This will be the UK’s first election where the internet will play a significant part so it’s refreshing to see the politicians of the future embracing new forms of communication