Local 2.0 was a Young Foundation project funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Empowerment Fund. We worked with three local authorities, to test how hyper-local media and web 2.0 could give communities a voice. Our three local authorities were Kirklees, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council, and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
With Kirklees Council we worked in two areas of Huddersfield – Newsome and Rawthorpe and Dalton. In Newsome, we supported the Newsome Ward Community Forum to put on a series of social media surgeries, which would help local people setup and maintain their own blogs and social media profiles. We then hoped to develop a website which aggregates local people’s blogs and other hyper-local information in one place, that can then be used as a source of conversation and connection for local people and public agencies. In Rawthorpe and Dalton, we worked with the local Neighbourhood Management team to encourage the public sector to engage with the local people using social media.
In King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, we worked with the community – through a Neighbourhood Management Partnership – on the Fairstead estate to develop its own community website. We also worked with the West Norfolk Partnership to see how web 2.0 could be used by young people to improve their own quality of life.
In Kensington and Chelsea, our work concentrated in the Notting Barns ward, where we worked with local councillors to try and develop an active, online community that supported offline community activism.
Alongside our practical work, we wrote a series of think-pieces:
- Local 2.0: How digital technology empowers local communities (Hothi, M 2012) – In this report we bring together the insight from our work, drawing on our practical projects with a number of communities in three areas of the country: Kirklees, Kensington and Chelsea, and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.
- Joining the Conversation: An introduction to hyperlocal media (Hothi, M 2010) – This paper provides an overview of hyperlocal uses of the internet and how they can be useful to local government.
- Listen, Participate, Transform: A social media framework for local government (Hothi, M 2010) – This thinkpiece provides local authorities with a simple, practical framework to base their social media activity on.