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Online engagement in Wales

By July 19, 2013No Comments

I thought that now might be a good time to blog about the work we’ve been doing in Wales around the Welsh Government’s decision to provide councils with funding to address three issues:-

  • Remote attendance
  • Webcasting
  • Community websites

In March of this year, Welsh councils were asked to register interest in receiving £40,000 (split between webcasting and remote attendance) and a further £500 for every town or community interested in building their own website. The funding (a £1,200,000 total to be spent by 31st March 2014) was released  on the 1st of April, 2013, and four Welsh authorities have already contracted Public-i to deliver differing engagement solutions.

On the 15th of May, 2013, one of those,  Carmarthenshire, kick-started its pilot with a dual-language webcast. With councillors speaking in both Welsh and English in public meetings, Carmarthernshire wanted to offer viewers a choice of language, so Public-i provided two player pages, one in English and one in Welsh. The audio on the Welsh page is of the actual meeting (English and Welsh together) whilst the English page audio is entirely in English with the Welsh contributions translated into English. (You can read a blog post by Lewis on how this was achieved.)

A picture of the dual-language player for Carmarthernshire County Council: To switch from one language page to the other choose the English or Cymraeg tab in the top-right-hand corner.

The meeting attracted 551 ‘live’ viewers and as of today, a further 1,456 viewers from archive. Of the three other councils…

  • one has decided to run a single-language 12-month pilot from the chamber;
  • another has decided on the same solution but to benefit from the significant discounts on offer for longer term contracts;
  • and the last has decided on a package of single and dual language events with engagement to the fore.
(We’ll tell you more about these councils in our next update.)

The message to take from this is that no two councils are the same and that we are able to tailor our solutions to meet the specific engagement needs of each. We remain hopeful that, with nine months left, many others will find similar ways to benefit from the funding on offer. For more information please contact – or call 07967 967 883.

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