How to use the Councillor Direct website
The tagline under the main heading on the banner of this site says 'Local government information exchange.' This indicates that there are two sides to this site:
1. INFORMATION: open-access pages that include a digest of news covering issues around local government that will interest councillors at all levels; also films; feature articles and more in-depth pieces about latest local government information
2. EXCHANGE: the social media side exclusively for councillors to register and use. When you have registered, spend a bit of time exploring it. You can form your own personal invitation-only circle; you can form your own or join other networks such as women; young councillors; Black and Asian councillors; leaders; portfolio holders of particular service areas; political groups or particular councils; and you can send internal memos to other members registered with the Exchange.
The menus on the homepage at the side of the main photo are: Councillor-Direct.net - this introduces the site; Exchange describes the advantages of registering to use the site's social media; Information looks in-depth at a particular element of local government; Latest feature will change from time to time and pick up on a topical issue or something we want to share with councillors or, if you feel moved to want to write a contribution for this section then feel free to email it to us and we will consider it.
The menus running across the centre of the homepage, start from the left with Digest made up of latest news snips that we think will interest you as a councillor and will cover first tier and town and parish council news; the Networks menu relates to your own network set-up on the social media pages; Latest video will show films of councillors with something to say and underneath this are links so you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
These can be found at the top left of the homepage and at the bottom and are intended to ease navigation around the site.
EXCHANGE REGISTRATION PROCESS
To take part in the Exchange, you need to be a councillor and register - it is for councillors only. Just go to Register here at the top right corner of the homepage; it's free. The following fields are required to be filled in before you will be able to proceed:
- Council / Local Authority - Required
- Type of Council / Local Authority - Required
- Role / Position - Required
But please fill in as many fields as possible so that other councillors sharing similar profiles will be able to find you through the Find facility (see below for details). You are then able send inviitations, join or form circles, send private messages to other members registered on the site and more.
Once you have filled in the fields and submitted it, you will receive an email message shortly after confirming your registration with Councillor Direct.
Once you have registered the first time, you don't have to register again. To get back in to the Exchange social network pages go to Sign in at the top right corner of the homepage, fill in your email address and personal password and you will get straight in.
Once in the Exchange social media pages, the menus are displayed in the top right corner and down the left side of each section. You can click on any of those options to navigate the site.
My Portrait You can edit your description by clicking on portrait, share your thoughts, send Memos to other members, look at your Circle, and look at or create Networks
Memos gives you access to your Inbox, your Sent memos and the opportunity to Compose new memos to send internally to members registered in the Exchange.
Find gives you a list of members so that you can look up people you want to include in your Circle or to whom you want to send a Memo. You are given the options of Send contact invitation or Send message. You will be able to search for members by their Name, Party, Council, Type of Council (county, district, London borough, Metropoitan, unitary, town and parish), also Role, Gender and Age (where people provide their date of birth - this is so that, for example, younger councillors have the opportunity to get in touch).
My Circle enables you to connect with people who have accepted your invitation and now form part of your Circle
Networks are groups that have been formed within the Exchange, some of which you may have created. It brings members with common interests or similar roles together.
Log Out means what it says! This is where you can leave the Exchange at the end of your session. If you need further help, email us at email@example.com
If you have any comments on our site or need more help in getting the best out of it, we'd like to hear from you. Again, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org