Ipswich Spy has a long and proud tradition of reporting on the use of social media and digital advertising by our local politicians, and despite criticism from some these posts are always widely read, popular, and usually provoke action.
There are a number of political blogs, and two from our councillors are regularly updated. Cllr Cenci with her site here, and Cllr Ross with his site here, both keep reasonably regular posting. Unfortunately Cllr Harsant, here, and Cllr Bates, here, have both fallen by the wayside it seems. Liz tells Ipswich Spy she has been very busy of late, and Ken hasn’t been well.
The Lib Dem website hasn’t been updated since May, which doesn’t look very good at all. But we have found a bigger fish to fry. Mr Ben Gummer MP.
Mr Gummer’s website was launched, after a long gestation, to bells and whistles; not least because he promised to compile and publish two “key performance indicators” regarding his constituency work. The first, a record of how long it takes him to respond to constituents issues, and the second a record of how long it takes for him to respond to policy inquiries.
At first this data was published weekly, and then it suddenly stopped. We noticed, but prompted by us, Mr Gummer rapidly responded and the data was published before we could write about it. This has happened twice since his website went live.
This time, however, we haven’t tipped Mr Gummer off. These performance indicators haven’t been updated since 17th February. His blog, which is a reproduction of his weekly column for the Ipswich Star, hasn’t been updated since before Christmas 2011. Mr Gummer is, once again, failing to communicate.
Communication is very important. These performance indicators were essential, since some MPs have a reputation for taking an awfully long time to respond to a letter and this was one way that the blogosphere could keep on the MPs back about it. Publishing his regular update to the Ipswich Star on his website was another way we can hold him to account for his written words – rather than relying on A Riverside View to reprint it in full, or waiting for Maclure’s Musings to take umbrage with something he has said.
So, Mr Gummer, time to get an intern in who knows how to update a website. Or maybe ask your campaign manager to do it for you. It was in his/her original job description…