Why I set up a website…
Local councillor Gary Malcolm walks the walk on e-democracy
In my role as a local councillor for the residents of Southfield ward, you come across a lot of people who ask you to assist them, sometimes when the council has let them down.
Two years ago constituents who ran local businesses in Acton or Chiswick, or were residents, contacted me mainly by the telephone or by letter. Now over half of the residents who get in touch with me, do so by email.
It was then that I set myself the challenge of setting up a website so that more people could contact me. It took time to create the text, but when www.garymalcolm.org.uk was set up I realised that it really is a good way to let people know the views of myself and my political party, the Liberal Democrats.
There are a number of sections of the web site where people can ask me questions or post comments to me about the subjects I have raised.
I have noticed recently that there has been a large increase in the number of people who use local on-line discussion boards to discuss issues and ask questions of those who also live in their area. Quite simply, the people who know the most about Acton and Chiswick, are those based in Acton and Chiswick.
This is a real positive step because in many other ways, government and local council policies seem to have reduced community interaction. Also many people do not know or have confidence in political parties or their candidates, so personal websites and especially local web sites give a chance for people to interact and express their opinions.
On my web site you can read about news which is updated regularly; see where I stand on certain issues such as the tram; view local information which is especially useful if you have just moved into the area; and people can ask me questions or send me their thoughts on local issues!
I would really like residents of Chiswick and Acton to visit my website to give their views (good or bad) on what the Liberal Democrats and myself think about local issues.
Cllr Gary Malcolm,
June 1, 2004