The Networked Councillor

In November 2013, the East of England LGA and Public-I published the Networked Councillor research report which considered how to increase the effectiveness of councillors in the online world beyond the current mixed picture. It lays out the evidence to support the idea that we need all our elected representatives to be comfortable and effective in the online space and recommends the need to develop new models of training, mentoring and support to help councillors be effective in a digital and networked world.

The key messages from the report include:

  • Local politicians face increasing challenges and opportunities from operating in an increasingly networked and digital society.
  • To reach and respond effectively society requires a Networked Councillor embodying key qualities of: openness, digital culture and co-production.
  • Social media is important, but networked councillors need to be in the heart of online and offline networks.

In partnership, the East of England LGA and Public-I, have developed a programme to help councils respond to the challenges and opportunities outlined in the research report.  The offer below outlines the kind of action learning that we believe will be effective in terms of building confidence alongside skills and also connecting existing skills to new digital technologies.

The full report can be downloaded here.

The Networked Councillor Programme

The programme introduces four concepts: Networks; 3 C’s of Engagement; Skills; and, Content. 

A series of workshops have been developed under each of these headings which incorporate a mix of delivery styles:

Practical workshops - These workshops are designed to help with practical social media skills. They complement the Networked Councillor programme, and are most effective in conjunction with workshops from the rest of the programme, but can also be used as stand-alone workshops.

Skills and Understanding Workshops - These workshops make up the core learning elements of the Networked Councillor programme, and can be mixed to suit the needs of each cohort depending on existing skills and knowledge.

The action learning programme is available in two formats:

A full Networked Councillor programme delivered within a single authority/shared service authorities. This model works most effectively when delivered in tandem with a wider organisational change programme developed by the authority.  The programme will be designed in conjunction with the authority to bring together the workshops relevant to the authority.  The cost of the full programme can be discussed based on the outlined need.  Further information is available here.

A flexible format with workshop delivery of specific elements of the wider Networked Councillor programme available as follows:

  • A series of half-day (2 hours) or full day (4 hour) workshop – available stand alone or delivered in multiples/series or as a Programme Module with an implementation strategy and coaching. A List of workshops is available here.  Workshops can be combined as required, however, some example workshops are available here.
  • Bespoke design service that enables better integration with existing programmes.


Programme deliverables 



Training Workshops –
half day

2 hour workshop


Training Workshops –
full day

4 hour workshop


1 to 1 Coaching for Members/Officers

1:1 Coaching/Advice specifically for supporting digitally native behaviours and ways of working, as required. (Included for participants in the programme).

£175/per person
per hour

A full Networked Councillor Programme As above The cost of the full programme can be discussed based on the outlined need. 

 All prices above exclude the addition of VAT, Travel and expenses.