digiCC workshops

A series of workshops on digital engagement for community councillors ran from January 2015 to March 2016. These were designed to explore and share Community Councillors’ own methods of digital engagement.

This page contains the key findings from the workshops, along with links to presentations by the Scottish Government’s community empowerment team, the Improvement Service and the Democratic Society, Edinburgh Napier University and others. There are also links to the outputs from the discussions which underpin the findings.

Many resources produced at or for the workshops are listed on the resources for CCs page.

Key findings

The full findings can be found in the reports: January 2015 reportAutumn 2015 report, March 2016.

Many CCs find it difficult to recruit sufficient members to develop and maintain digital engagement channels. Especially in rural areas, they tend to suffer poor internet connectivity, and LAs are generally not in a position to offer extensive support.

There is reluctance to go beyond providing information such as minutes or news about local events. For instance, while many CCs use Facebook, less than a third have enabled multi-way conversations.

There is clearly wide variation in LA support for CCs, with some community councillors unaware of the supporting role of CCLOs and other relevant LA officials.

There are already many lapsed CC online presences (Ryan and Cruickshank, 2014), so while there is a clear appetite for hands-on demonstrations and guidance about how to create online presences, training must start with planning for the human resources necessary to maintain them. A time budget is needed for adding content to websites, in addition to the time taken to find appropriate content.

Secondly, modern blog-based platforms enable creation of websites with no requirement for coding skills, but the content and structure do need to be carefully planned. Models and templates can be useful here – as can a directory of good examples.

Presentations

This section contains links to the slide presentations and videos of these being presented. You will need to join the Community Councillors’ KnowledgeHub group to access some materials.

Workshop
Ayr
(9 Oct 2015)
Elgin
(30 Oct 2015
Forfar
(13 Nov 2015)
Newton St Boswells
(20 Nov 2015)
Glasgow
(22 March 2016)
Introduction and background to the workshops
Scottish Government presentation on community empowerment
Improvement Service presentation on digital resources for community councils
The Democratic Society presentation on digital tools for community councils
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Chewin’ the Fat, a Facebook page for Community Councillors
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CC digital success stories
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Building a CC website using wordpress
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Final discussion and close
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Outputs

Several topics were discussed by small groups of delegates. The flipcharts they produced, and the presentations of their findings are in this section.

Workshop
Ayr
Elgin
Forfar
Newton St Boswells
Glasgow
What are the major barriers to CC digital engagement?
How can CCs best use the internet?
Topics chosen by delegates