Councillors call for more social media support

Sheffield councillors have called for more social media training and support after suffering incidents online.

Friday, 14th June 2019, 4:24 pm
Updated Friday, 14th June 2019, 4:42 pm
Councillors asked for more support with social media. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Councillors asked for more support with social media. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The issue was discussed at an audit and standards committee meeting where councillors shared their concerns. 

Coun Mohammed Mahroof, Crookes and Crosspool ward representative, said it would be good to have more support when incidents arise and added: “I suffered something online which I shouldn’t have really done so.”

When new councillors start they have to sign up to a code of conduct and undertake online training. Throughout their time in the role they should also have access to online guidance.

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But there were some concerns about how many had completed the training and if they needed refreshers.

Coun Simon Clement-Jones, Beauchief and Greenhill ward representative, said: “We should be monitoring what goes on and ensuring there is best practice.

“Hopefully everyone’s doing there job and there is good turnout. But it would be interesting to see how popular it was and maybe introduce them on a cycle of every four years, or every year.”

Gillian Duckworth, director of legal and governance, said they would look at more regular training and monitoring the uptake of that.  

“I think we have quite robust guidance on social media in support of councillors. You should have received it during your induction and it should be online in the members area.

“What we would like is to have podcasts or video sessions with refreshers on some specific sections of the training that councillors can dip into when they need. So we probably wouldn’t do a full roll out of intensive training every year but maybe every three years.”