After the success of #askthecommander back in October, last week I facilitated #asktheleader with Stoke-on-Trent City Council Leader, Councillor Mohammed Pervez.
The meeting was set up as part of the on going consultation about the proposed cuts that the City Council need to make on the back of the Governments CSR. The meeting like #askthecommander was run on Pits n Pots and a couple of other #hyperlocal sites. This was done purposely to show that the meeting was not just the council ticking boxes, by giving the meeting to the community again gives it a greater lever of impartiality and independence.
When I was arranging the meeting the only stipulations I made were, Councillor Pervez had to actually be there (strange I know but it would be easy to fake) and all questions should be answered, even if we couldn’t answer them all in the allotted time they should be answered and published after the event.
As well as Councillor Pervez, Dan Barton Head of Press & Communications was at the meeting and Communications Officer Fay Boulton who was on hand to assist with finding answers & responses.
The on-line meeting ran for a little over an hour with some 48 people taking part in the event on the night asking some 50 questions. In the four days since the live event, the archive has been replayed some 423 times. I’m pleased to say that most of the questions asked during the event were answered either in the event or by the end of the week and published on Pits n Pots, I’m aware that a couple of questions did slip through the net and am currently following those up.
I’m not sure if the council will continue to use this way of engaging with the public but at least they have given it a try and with a reasonable amount success.
You can replay the #asktheleader event below.