Making visits around my ward or neighbouring wards in Gateshead to check out problems or issues is something I have done regularly in my 20 years as a councillor. But tomorrow we are doing one with a difference. Through our email newsletter to residents, we announced we are to do a tour of central Whickham on Saturday morning, but we asked people to email me with suggestions as to the locations to visit and the reasons why. I finished gathering the replies today and as a result, we are having to split into three groups (there are 9 Lib Dem Councillors representing Whickham so we can split up the visits between us). The problem will come with videoing the visits. The plan was originally one walkabout which we would video. The video would then be linked to our email newsletter for residents to see. We would also send copies to the appropriate officers in Gateshead Council. But with only one cameraman and one camera, we aint going to be able to cover every walkabout as they are all happening at the same time. Learning point: instead of giving us half an hour before a surgery to do a walkabout, give ourselves half a day!
We all gather at the same point at 9.30am tomorrow so filming that will be easy and we will meet at the end at the same point. We may have to revisit some of the locations with the camera later on. It's all a bit of an experiment but hopefully it will work.
Sitting on the train now heading up to Newcastle from London now, I have to write the introduction to the video. We only need about 20 seconds so "writing it" may come down to jotting down a few notes and memorising them. Otherwise, everything else will have to be ad lib.
And if this little experiment in using video to communicate with constituents is a success, we will do more of it.
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