Presentation on theme: "Building Effective Community Council Communication Anthony Higney."— Presentation transcript:
Building Effective Community Council Communication Anthony Higney
Project Outline A review and assessment of Community Council websites/Facebook pages and newsletters. A sample survey/interview with a selection of Community Councils to assess perceived obstacles to effective communication. Investigation of costs and support requirements to overcome any perceived obstacles.
Actions so far Web Survey completed. Small review of newsletters. Trial survey completed Final survey completed. Results collated and analysed.
Web Survey Carried out in June 2013. Provides a ‘snapshot’ of Community Council online activity. Based on methodology of Ryan, B., Cruickshank, P. (2012). Scottish Community Councils Online: a Survey.Scottish Community Councils Online: a Survey
Improvement in Website Upkeep 20122013 Up to Date1429 Out of Date3722
Qualitative Results Wide variation in quality of online presence of Community Councils. Some excellent Community Council websites exist and are available as best practice examples for other Councils. Most Councils use websites for posting minutes and giving out information to the community. Limited use the internet to ascertain residents’ views Low display of planning applications on websites
Ascertain how Community Councils are currently engaging with their residents. Investigate the causes of the variation between very active Community Councils and less active ones. Find out how Community Councillors believe communication could be improved. Find out what they would need to do this. Purpose of Survey is to:
How are Community Councils Currently Engaging with their Community? 64% of councils are online. 30% of surveyed Community Councillors said their Council produces a newsletter.
Do you think it is important for Community Councils to use web-based methods of communication?
Reasons Community Councils Find Web-Based Methods Useful “Well, it just makes it easier to keep people involved. Email is very handy for reminding people there’s a meeting coming up.” “[I]t’s a better way of distributing all the information we feel residents should have.” “ We get feedback from the website.”
How do you think Community Council communication could be improved?
Other Methods of Improving Communication “Improve the actual communication between Community Councillors and find out what each one is doing to get information…back to the rest of the board.” “You have to be very proactive.” “[T]ry and attract a younger audience.” “[T]he people who live in our community should know who the CCllrs are.”
More Publicity for Community Councils “This is probably an area where Glasgow City Council could help, by effectively advertising the existence of Community Councils.” “[W]ell lots of people I’ve spoken to don’t even know they exist.” “[I]t’s important that you make people aware, first of all, that the Community Council exists.” “I think that…it could get put on the media or the news about Community Councils, because not many people know about it…”
Would you participate in an online Community Council forum, where Community Councils, from different areas, could communicate with each other?
Would you participate if this online Community Council forum was on Facebook?
Training Needs 46% of Community Councillors surveyed would like training in web- based methods of communication. 33% of Community Councillors surveyed would like other training.
Further Concerns of Community Councillors A number of other issues were frequently raised in the interviews as impediments to communication.
Voice Not being Heard “[T]hey’re bringing things up to the Community Council, the Community Council is bringing it up to the Council and nothing’s getting done…” “Our voice is not heard.” “I think they do listen but they don’t do enough.”
Concerns About Representation “We are white and we are old.” “We have very few people who are actually in business, or any form of work.” “We would like for younger people to come.” “I think it becomes very middle-class.”
Concerns about Apathy “[P]eople are generally apathetic towards the whole thing.” “We’re making attempts to communicate, but I don’t know if the community are reciprocating.” “[T]he older ones will talk. They’ll talk. The younger ones...nobody cares. “[P]eople are lazy and, unless it impacts on them directly, they’re not interested. It’s not due to lack of trying.”
Conclusions There are some shining examples of community engagement within the Community Council group. There is a demand from Community Councils for increased communication with each other. Community Councillors believe the primary barrier to more effective paper communication is the small resources Community Councils have at hand, but there are also many Councillors who have neither the time, nor the desire to produce a newsletter. There is a strong desire for increased publicity for Community Councils.
Conclusions The vast majority of Community Councillors believe that web-based communication methods are important. Community Councillors believe the primary barriers to increased web- based communication are: 1. The age of Community Councillors 2. Their desire to use these methods of communication. There is a strong desire for training in web-based communication methods. There is a desire for other training for Community Councillors. There are strong concerns within Community Councils about the apathy of residents, the voice of Community Councils being heard and about their demographic representation of the community.