UPDATE: Council apologises for ‘technical difficulties’ during live Facebook chat

JPCT 070313 West Street enhancement project. HDC cabinet member for the town centre Helena Croft and visitor John Watling. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 070313 West Street enhancement project. HDC cabinet member for the town centre Helena Croft and visitor John Watling. Photo by Derek Martin

The council has apologised for technical difficulties that left readers fuming during a live Facebook chat last Thursday July 11.

Helena Croft (Con, Roffey North), deputy leader of Horsham District Council and cabinet member for communication, Horsham town and special projects, was answering questions on the on-going West Street Enhancement Project.

However readers took to Facebook to complain when the chat did not start on time, and commented throughout on the speed of responses.

A spokesperson for Horsham District Council said: “The ‘Live Facebook Chat’ held on Thursday 11 July was put on by the council to invite ongoing discussion using different means with residents and others about the planned improvements for Horsham’s West Street.

“It was the fifth such online chat about various subjects, which usually run really well.”

“Whilst very few people took part in last night’s online discussion, owing to technical difficulties some of the answers we posted online were not published and we are looking into why this happened. We too are sorry that this happened.

“If anyone has any outstanding questions about Horsham’s West Street, they are welcome to email contact@horsham.gov.uk or write to the council.”

Afterwards readers took to social media branding the live chat a ‘farce’.

Sue Kornycky, posting on the Horsham Facebook page, said: “Even though we submitted a written question on Tuesday morning to be answered in the Facebook chat, the response did not answer the question sufficiently or in any detail.

“It was very wishy-washy indeed and not what one would expect from the deputy leader of the council who had almost three days to consider the response.

“It makes me wonder if anyone has got a real grip on this project that is going to use a massive amount of public funding. “Surely the people picking up the tab have a right to ask searching questions and to be given a detailed, informed response? Gloss, spin and platitudes do not cut the mustard and I believe the electorate deserve better.”

Do you think live chats are a good way of the council connecting with people in the Horsham district? Comment below or email ct.news@jpress.co.uk