Belfast Telegraph

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Austen powers ahead with online media

by Natalie Gorman

Published 09/06/2011

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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From Belfast Telegraph