Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 7th September 2011

Report of the Leader

Social Media Strategy


Purpose of the Report

1.             To seek approval and endorsement from Cabinet for the Social Media Strategy and Policy, and associated action plan, as attached.


1. That the Social Media Strategy and Policy is endorsed.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To provide an effective base to develop the Council's use of social media for   

     communications and customer relations purposes.


2. To ensure that the use of social media by Council officers for official business is

    undertaken in a professional and effective manner.




2.             The council has been successfully using social media for external communication since 2009 when it launched its Twitter feed (@VOGCouncil). Twitter was introduced mainly as an emergency communications channel, following the lead of emergency services in the US, and it has proved invaluable during severe weather. Local people now use @VOGCouncil regularly to communicate with the council.

3.             Early this year the council launched the 'Vale of Glamorgan Life' Facebook page, which is growing in popularity.

4.             New social media channels are regularly being introduced, such as the new Google+ Project, which could be described as a cross between Facebook and Twitter.

5.             Increasing numbers of staff across the council are requesting permission to use social media in their work.

Relevant Issues and Options


6.             The use of social media by the general public is growing and there is an expectation that public organisations will use this medium to engage with their customers and stakeholders. The strategy sets out the Council's aims and objectives for its use of social media and how its use will be developed in the near future. An action plan details the work to be undertaken over the coming year.

7.             The Policy details what is expected of staff when using social media in their work and guidance on how to use this form of communication to best effect. It also advises on the use of social media privately as a Council employee.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)


8.             Delivery of the Strategy is achievable within current budgets. It will assist in delivering enhanced communications services to local residents in a cost efficient manner.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)


9.             The Strategy highlights the legal implications of the use of social media for council business, including copyright and data protection.

Crime and Disorder Implications


10.        There are no crime and disorder implications regarding this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)


11.        The Strategy endeavours to widen access to council information.

Corporate/Service Objectives


12.        The Strategy seeks to help the council to engage effectively with residents and other stakeholders.

Policy Framework and Budget


13.        Approval of the Social Media Strategy is a matter for executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)


14.        None

Relevant Scrutiny Committee


15.        Corporate Resources

Background Papers


Social Media Strategy & Policy


Contact Officer


Alison Cummins - Communications Manager


Officers Consulted


Corporate Management Team

All Heads of Service and Operational Managers


Responsible Officer:


John Maitland Evans

Chief Executive