Would you attend a Lincolnshire council meeting online?
County councillor for Grantham North West Richard Davies is holding a new kind of public meeting where Lincolnshire residents can ask questions, make comments and vote online.
Cllr Davies has become the first politician, and indeed the first person in the UK, to use a new online social media tool called CrowdHall.
The site allows politicians to enter a two-way dialogue with local people, in what is described as a more organised and democratic way, giving the public a louder, clearer voice in the decision-making process.
CrowdHall works like this: a politician, celebrity or blogger who has hundreds or thousands of online followers creates a profile on CrowdHall.
Members of the public can ask questions that are then voted on by other people.
Questions that have the highest number of votes or interest get pushed to the top and the politician or celebrity can respond.
The site has already proved popular in America, where a growing number of politicians at a national level are hosting their own Crowdhalls to engage with their electorate.
Now, people in Lincolnshire have the opportunity to join in Britain’s first ever Crowdhall themselves.
Cllr Davies, executive member for highways and transportation, said:“I’m really excited to be able to use Crowdhall to connect with local people.
“It’s a natural fit for elected officials like me to empower local people and give them more opportunities to influence the council’s decision making process.
“Existing social media tools are great in some ways. If Harry Styles wants to deliver a message to millions of followers through Twitter or Facebook, it works. But when people talk back, it gets overwhelming.
It’s not easy for him to respond to everyone, and it wouldn’t be a good use of time.
“Crowdhall allows this interaction to happen in a more democratic, more effective way, and that’s why I think it’ll be a helpful tool for engaging with residents.”
To take part, visit crowdhall.com at any point over the next week, ask a question or share an idea and vote.