Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Austen powers ahead with online media

Though many political parties have toyed with the YouTube generation during election time, one local councillor has bitten the broadband bullet and begun uploading video shorts in a bid to bring council meetings to the masses.

Independent councillor Austen Lennon, who last year created a Facebook site for North Down Borough council — against the Town Clerk Trevor Polley’s direct wishes resulting in its unofficial status — has decided further action in communications necessary “to create a more open and honest” council.

Mr Lennon told the Community Telegraph: “We are still in the dark ages as far as communicating with the public is concerned and I thought this was a great way for people to get an insight into council meetings.

“I don’t mind if people agree or disagree with what I have to say — it’s getting the information out to a larger audience, being open and honest and letting people know what’s going on in their council, that’s important.

“What I intend to do is not only cover council meetings but I also hope to do a special report on the Queen’s Parade development.

“I will be getting other people involved and hope to give the electorate a deeper insight into how much revenue has been lost because of the way this development has taken place.

“I also hope to do a special on what powers the council have when it comes to planning applications.

“I don’t think any other councillor is doing this in this country or even in Ireland as a whole.

“It would be great if more politicians follow suit.”

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