THERE is gathering support for an end to Wrexham Council’s ban on Twitter at meetings.
The Wrexham Independents group of councillors has put forward a motion to delete or suspend Standing Order 45, which bans the use of social media in meetings, without permission from the chair.
Earlier this week Welsh local government minister Carl Sargeant voiced his support for the motion.
Mr Sargeant, AM for Alyn and Deeside has written to all 22 Welsh local authorities asking them what arrangements they have made or plan to make in relation to broadcasting council meetings.
On Monday two Wrexham councillors joined Twitter, taking the total number of tweeting councillors at the authority to four.
Councillor William Baldwin (@77bew), who represents Little Acton, was one of those who joined after attending a council workshop on using social media earlier this week.
Cllr Baldwin said: “I went to the social media workshop for councillors where they told us what to do and how to behave on social media sites so I signed up while we were there.
“I’ll include my Twitter name on my weekly newsletter so if anyone in Little Acton has any concerns they can use it to interact with me.”
Of the council’s ban on social media use from meetings he said: “Everywhere else allows it including the Welsh, English and Scottish Governments, so why can’t we? I think it’s silly really.”
Cllr Paul Rogers (@cllrpaulrogers), Conservative ward member for Brymbo, also signed up on Monday.
Cllr Rogers said the Conservative group of councillors had yet to meet to discuss whether to support the motion.
“My view is that I’m going to move with the times and communicate with local residents,” he said.
“There’s been some debate on the Brymbo Heritage site on there recently and that’s one of the reasons why I’ve joined.”
Regarding Wrexham Council’s social media workshop he said: “From what I’m told, at the council workshop officers were encouraging councillors to use social media.
“They told them the dos and don’ts of social media and gave them advice on how to set up an account.”
Another councillor on Twitter is Cllr Arfon Jones (@ArfonJ) for Gwersyllt West who was spoken to after tweeting at a council meeting last month without permission.
The other is Cllr Phil Wynn (@PhillipWynn) who represents Brynyffynon.
A Wrexham Council spokesman said: “A workshop was held to bring members up to date with latest technology.
“Off the back of that two councillors immediately signed up to Twitter, which we were pleased with.”
The motion to delete or suspend Standing Order 45 will be debated at the full council meeting on Monday.