Local governments reprise #OurDay 'tweetathon' ahead of Spending Review

Councillors and local authority staff will take part in a tweetathon on Wednesday 18 November to raise awareness of the hundreds of vital services provided by councils across England and Wales.

Tweetathon: ahead of Spending Review (Credit: acid pix via Flickr)
Tweetathon: ahead of Spending Review (Credit: acid pix via Flickr)

The date for the fourth annual tweetathon was chosen because it is one week ahead of Chancellor George Osborne's Spending Review.

The Local Government Association, which represents nearly 400 councils in England and Wales, fears losses to council funding of billions of pounds, and has told the Government that it should instead spend to save, claiming that for every £1 spent on programmes to keep people healthy, almost double could be saved for the public purse within five years.

The tweetathon – being organised by the LGA itself and public service collaboration platform Knowledge Hub – will encourage thousands of councillors and council staff to tweet from 00.01am on 18 November using the hashtag #OurDay, giving residents an insight into the huge variety of jobs councils do at all hours of the day and night, from collecting rubbish and fixing roads, to taking care of vulnerable people.

During #OurDay in 2014 there were 16,500 tweets from more than 8,000 contributors – more than double the 3,000 mark in 2013 – reaching more than three million people, the LGA said.

Louise Smith, a senior media relations officer at the LGA, said that in 2012, the event's first year, it reached around 750,000 people.

Smith joined the LGA four weeks ago from Maidstone District Council, where she took part in last year's event. "The feedback we got from residents was so positive, I think people sometimes have the perception that people in the council just fix potholes and empty bins, but there's also all the jobs people perhaps don't realise go on as much as they do," she said.

David Simmonds, chairman of the LGA’s improvement and innovation board and a councillor in Hillingdon, west London, said: "I hope as many local authorities, councillors and staff as possible get involved and highlight the good work that is going on in their communities. Councils are the most efficient, open and transparent part of the public sector and using social media is an easy and effective way for us to communicate with our residents and answer any questions they may have."

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