Cllr Mark Wright Introduction


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Cllr Mark Wright, Bristol City Council, opens the Your Local Budget Bristol Event and describes the budget engagement work going on in Bristol.

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  • A key strap line for our e-democracy programme – inform people and encourage them to get involved
  • The consultation strategy led to the development of Consultation Finder and from there is seemed sensible to try other approaches such as online surveys and quick polls. E-petitions were introduced in 2004, closely followed by our original e-panel, Ask Bristol Over the last few years this has evolved with more bottom-up engagement through neighbourhood forums plus through improved use of multimedia Bristol was also the first place in the country to introduce free IT in libraries through the People’s network We’re currently encouraging the development of hyper local sites to support the NP programme
  • We group all the tools together on the council’s website also accessible via All set to change with the council’s new website (powered by Drupal) which will put engagement to the fore
  • All the council’s consultations in one place on the web. Powered by local company Delib. Making it easy to find consultations.
  • Early engagement on possible redesign of Bristol City Centre using Wordpress. An example of a public conversation.
  • Final thoughts are that e-democracy is not about making a transaction Spending money on buying tools help but it’s more about people Works best if can invest time and effort to build an ongoing relationship Making sure that feedback and responses are given
  • Cllr Mark Wright Introduction

    1. 1. Improving citizen involvement through e-democracy in Bristol Cllr Dr Mark Wright Executive Member for Efficiency and Value for Money
    2. 2. Be informed Get involved
    3. 3. <ul><li>Broaden input into local decision-making </li></ul><ul><li>Raise understanding of local issues </li></ul><ul><li>Help people to raise issues themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Early engagement on issues </li></ul><ul><li>Create ongoing links with citizens </li></ul><ul><li>Take advantage of new ways to engage people online </li></ul>Why e-democracy?
    4. 4. Developing a range of tools <ul><li>Crowd sourcing websites </li></ul><ul><li>Greater use of social media </li></ul><ul><li>E-bulletin / Twitter account </li></ul><ul><li>ASK Bristol Discussion Forum </li></ul><ul><li>You tube videos </li></ul><ul><li>Webcasting </li></ul><ul><li>Neighbourhood e-forums </li></ul><ul><li>E-petitions </li></ul><ul><li>Online surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Consultation Finder </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive voting </li></ul>2010 2000
    5. 6. A quick tour Of the tools
    6. 9. E-petitions <ul><li>Since 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity for citizens to raise issues (bottom-up) </li></ul><ul><li>Used by citizens, groups and councillors </li></ul><ul><li>Onus on citizen to promote their petition – active citizenship </li></ul><ul><li>Biggest mass online participation in e-democracy we’ve seen in Bristol – stadium petition </li></ul><ul><li>90k+ signatures from over 215 e-petitions so far (Jan 2010) </li></ul>
    7. 10. BCFC Football stadium <ul><li>E-petitions site used by supporters of a new football stadium for Bristol City FC </li></ul><ul><li>New stadium threatened by planning problems </li></ul><ul><li>Biggest and fastest growing e-petition we’ve seen </li></ul><ul><li>29,914 signatures to date and still growing </li></ul>
    8. 11. Webcasting local democracy
    9. 12. Webcasting local democracy <ul><li>Webcasting since 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Webcast meetings of high public interest </li></ul><ul><li>Meetings webcast live and viewable for 6 months </li></ul><ul><li>Typically webcast over 20 hours a month </li></ul><ul><li>Improves accessibility and understanding of local issues and democracy at work </li></ul><ul><li>Watch and comment </li></ul>
    10. 13. Online Public conversations <ul><li>One direction we’re moving in </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the issue with the public at an early stage </li></ul><ul><li>Develop understanding of issues </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate discussion between citizens </li></ul><ul><li>Citizens can publicly air their views or use private comments form </li></ul>
    11. 15. 2010 innovations
    12. 16. Map based crowd sourcing <ul><li>Citizens easily pin point area </li></ul><ul><li>Make a suggestion / Comment / upload photos </li></ul><ul><li>Spatial patterns emerge </li></ul><ul><li>An engaging experience </li></ul><ul><li>Used 3 times by Bristol </li></ul><ul><li>925 comments </li></ul>
    13. 17. Ideas for Bristol <ul><li>NESTA funded project </li></ul><ul><li>Sign-in with FB and Twitter account </li></ul><ul><li>Share </li></ul><ul><li>Walk through wizard – informed consultees </li></ul><ul><li>3,654 unique visits </li></ul><ul><li>128 ideas, 377 users, 955 votes </li></ul><ul><li>5 week consultation </li></ul><ul><li>Broadened involvement </li></ul>
    14. 18. Neighbourhood Forums / Hyper local sites
    15. 19. Greater Bedminster Neighbourhood Partnership <ul><li>April 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>1 of 4 e-forums (NP) in city </li></ul><ul><li>251 members </li></ul><ul><li>Local politicians active members </li></ul><ul><li>Community moderators </li></ul><ul><li>A lively forum </li></ul>
    16. 20. The future is hyper-local <ul><li>Extend community websites to our 14 NP areas </li></ul><ul><li>Recruiting community moderators and content providers </li></ul><ul><li>Broad appeal: events, community news, not just NP business </li></ul><ul><li>Strong social media presence: Flickr, Twitter, Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Community run </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage more hyper-local sites </li></ul>
    17. 21. The importance of social media
    18. 22. 480,000 Facebook members in Bristol 80% of all under 30 years We can’t afford to ignore this?
    19. 23. Feeds, widgets and e-bulletins <ul><li>2010 moved into social media / letting our content travel </li></ul><ul><li>Feeds </li></ul><ul><li>Widgets </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter account: consultations, e-petitions, citizen ideas, webcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook page </li></ul><ul><li>Trying to exploit the viral potential of our tools </li></ul><ul><li>Social media – activism </li></ul>
    20. 24. How e-democracy could develop in the future
    21. 25. <ul><li>Cllr Dr Mark Wright – Thank you for listening </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>