Digital Local Democracy – The 21st Century Councillor

Ideas from the “Digital Local Democracy – The 21st Century Councillor” workshop at #notwestminster 2015, hosted by Cllr David Harrington and Ken Eastwood.

Ken Eastwood at #notwestminster
Ken Eastwood at #notwestminster – photo NotWestminster (18 of 30) by Anthony Mckeown

Workshop challenge

We have all seen how the digital revolution is empowering citizens to engage in campaigns or community issues in different ways. Against this backdrop, the role of elected representatives can become unclear. This workshop considered the opportunities presented by digital technologies, including forums, blogs and hyper-local web sites that connect individuals with shared interests, often based on place and belonging.

The three ideas

Flag created by Juan Pablo Bravo from The Noun Project

  1. Deal with inequalities (digital) by giving away tablets! (and address digital skills)
  2. Find a way to filter online content and personalise digital public sector information.
  3. Do we need councillors in the 21st Century? [Debate]


Want to join us in working on one or more of these ideas?
You can Leave a Reply at the foot of this page.


21stc cllr placard


21st century councillor workshop
21st Century councillor workshop at #notwestminster – photo NotWestminster (9 of 51) by Anthony Mckeown




About the workshop hosts

Ken EastwoodKen Eastwood
Digital Nomads

Ken Eastwood is the founder of Digital Nomads. He has 26 years local government experience, latterly as an Assistant Director and member of the leadership team at Barnsley MBC.

Ken has significant expertise in transformation and technology enabled change. An author of articles on digital innovation and new ways of working and delivering services, he is a well known commentator on the digital agenda. Former Project Nomad national eGov board member and founder and national lead of Public Sector Nomads, Ken has been at the forefront of mobile & flexible working for over a decade.

Councillor David HarringtonCouncillor David Harrington
Cabinet Member for Corporate Management and Finance,
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
& LGiU Online Councillor of the Year 2013

First elected in 2005, re-elected in 2007 and 2011, as an Independent, David represents Ingleby Barwick which is believed to be the largest private housing estate in western Europe. He was the first Ward Councillor in the North-East to use social media as a means of engagement in 2008. In 2013, he was awarded the title of Online Councillor of the Year by the LGiU and CCLA for his innovative use of Skype and Twitter for engaging with residents.

David Harrington – Your councillor


One thought on “Digital Local Democracy – The 21st Century Councillor

    […] Cllr David Harrington (Stockton on Tees) focused in detail on one such innovation to help him work with residents: successfully offering his ward surgeries on Skype, which proved their popularity once people had overcome initial concerns. More about David and Ken’s workshop […]


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