Despite not feeling much like it recently, Winter is upon us and, if the weather reports are to be believed, we are in for a bit of a battering over the next 48 hours. Every council around the UK will be battening down the hatches and preparing themselves for whatever the weather can throw at them and their residents.

Each year, online engagement with residents proves more and more vital for local authorities up and down the country. The ability to broadcast vital information about important services and help during times of hardship is crucial. 

Here we provide just a flavour of some local authorities who are using online tools and how they are using them during nasty winter weather…
 

Surrey Heath Borough Council – Twitter updates, Facebook and website.

Surrey Heath Borough Council not only have a dedicated web page for winter-related issues but they provide Twitter and Facebook updates to residents. Many councils are beginning to use Twitter to great effect for providing up-to-date information.

Gateshead Council – Twitter, Facebook, website and council expert Q&A.

A one-stop-shop winter hub has been set up online by Gateshead Council – not only are they providing comprehensive info about everything from gritting, health advice to transport updates, they also have an interesting Q&A with the man responsible for looking after Gateshead’s winter services. Nice touch!

Wrexham County Borough Council – useful interactive maps

As well as having a plethora of handy severe weather information on one page for its residents, Wrexham have a great interactive map showing priority gritting routes and salt bin locations - making getting out and about in the winter that little bit easier. Interactive maps are popular with local councils and prove extremely useful to residents.

North Yorkshire County Council – online road cameras

Traffic cameras are a very useful tool when monitoring road and weather conditions. North Yorkshire County Council have put their cameras online so everyone can check out just which roads are affected by the weather. Not only do North Yorks have the online cameras – on the same page they have an interactive map of weather stations around the region.

Northumberland County Council – award-winning winter alerts system

Northumberland CC have a comprehensive web page dedicated to winter weather issues and it’s an award winner – beating off competition for all around the UK. By using Twitter, Facebook and their website, they manage to engage with 13,500 residents. School closure updates appear to be one of the big plus points of this service. It’s a good example of bringing all the vital information onto one or key two social media channels.

We hope that helps provide some useful best practice information. There are of course many more local authorities who are doing similar great work in the online front. If you have a good example of weather-related local authority online engagement then please do comment on this post below – we’d love you to share it with everyone. Thanks!

Posted by Howard.