It has come to my attention that Cllr Susie Govett UKIP New Romney has held a constituency surgery by using Facebook. See below.
Shepwayvox contacted the ICO and were informed that it would be necessary for Ms Govett to inform constituents about concepts of privacy and confidentiality before they posted anything.
It appears that she may well have not done this and she is not registered on the ICO Register of Data Controllers as of 9.20pm on the 20/08/15 clik Susie Govett and type in her name. Cllrs must be registered when undertaking constituency work otherwise they are committing a criminal offence.
I have discussed whether or not Facebook is a good forum to undertake constituency work with a lot of people over the last few days. The reaction of Shepway Residents has been that it is not the right forum for constituency work.
Most have cited privacy and confidentiality, many have mentioned that people can be really bitchy and snipe on Facebook.
I would add that it does not enhance the democratic process as it excludes those who do not have computers and the elderly who may not know how to navigate their way through Facebook safely. Ms Govett should work for ALL her constituents not just some of them, to exclude people from the democratic process is worrying and of great concern to ShepwayVox.
Also it raises another question, can she be paid for her constituency work? Will she claim? I mean we already pay her two hundred and thirty one pounds for her ICT needs, eg internet etc.
Now it is understandable if Ms Govett went to a hall or used New Romney Town Hall and then billed us, the ratepayer, for doing so, as this is the norm. People could talk to her in private and no one would be none the wiser. Ms Govett is pushing the boundaries and Shepwayvox has found this issue challenging.
Now the internet is not a bad thing, like guns, it is the person at the keyboard we need to worry about, not the internet. Ms Govett should take stock, because if by using Facebook, ruptions are caused, how can she control them? Plus the fact she is not signed up to the ICO Register of Data Controllers, this could well have serious consequences not only for her but her constituents.