We're starting a thorough review of all the City Council's communications - how we talk to and even more importantly listen to everyone who lives, works, studies and invests in the city.
We last did this five years ago. At that time, people told us that they weren't too keen on the web and the internet as a means of communication. Since then of course use of e-mail and the internet has exploded and as a Council we need to keep up with these changes. So we've got a new website now which makes it easier for people to get access to council services 24/7 from the comfort of their own homes or internet cafes, instead of arranging appointments in our offices or making telephone calls in office hours.
But we're conscious that people don't want an email overload from the Town Hall. Junk e-mails are just as irritating as any other junk mail and we need to avoid spending huge sums of their council tax on unnecessary brochures and glossy leaflets.
We want to find the perfect compro mise, where people get exactly the right amount and quality of communication that they want and need, to help them live better lives and to tell us what their priorities are for their neighbourhood and for the city as a whole. We're expecting to look at this over the next six months and while it's not the most scintillating thing in the world to sit in meeting groups and review forums pouring over communication charts and strategies, it's something that's very necessary so that we all get good value-for-money.