In May of this year, Wilmslow Town Council considered how it was viewed by the public and how it could become more active in working with the Community.
With the vast majority of people getting information online and via social media channels, the Town Council felt that our online presence required upgrading and the opportunities of online communication utilised further.
By increasing visibility, it was hoped that the Town Council’s responsibilities and functions – and those of the separate Cheshire East Council - would be clearer, and that this will encourage dialogue with residents.
Furthermore, the Town Council wished to improve links with volunteer groups within the community, to encourage groups to work together or with the Town Council, and to promote services provided by the Town Council such as the Community Grant Scheme.
To help the Town Council work towards these goals, Sophie Taylor was appointed on a fixed 6-month contract as our first Communications and Community Engagement Officer, working 10 hours each week.
Sophie is well known to many in the town having previously initiated the Facebook campaign for the return of the Rex Cinema and latterly been a key member of the team that created the Wilmslow Hub group that provides a valuable service within the community and is very well used.
Having completed the period of the fixed term contract, the Town Council has reviewed the impact of the role.
Since the employment of a Communications & Community Engagement Officer:
- Users of the Wilmslow Town Council website have increased by 86% (compared to previous six-month period)
- The highest number of Twitter users viewing Wilmslow Town Council Tweets per month has been 27,800 (the highest monthly figure during the previous six months was 4,576).
- Posts from the Wilmslow Town Council Facebook page have reached 23,870 people (a 2,900% increase from the previous six-month period).
- The top Facebook post reached 8,000 people.
- One video shared on the Facebook page has been watched 3,200 times.
- Wilmslow Town Council has established an Instagram page.
So far, Sophie’s role has included improving Wilmslow Town Council’s communications through various means, including the Wilmslow Town Council Newsletter, press releases on behalf of the Council, the Wilmslow Town Council website, event posters and banners, and social media.
Sophie has engaged with local community groups to develop a mailing list and promoted Wilmslow Town Council grants. She is also working with Wilmslow’s Town Centre Management Group to help promote the new town centre brand campaign, Wilmslows Way Better.
The Town Council has now made the role permanent and Sophie will continue to develop the role, working 15 hours per week.
Martin Watkins, Chairman Wilmslow Town Council said, "We are delighted to make Sophie’s role permanent. Being the lowest tier of government, we are best placed to take a lead in engaging with the Wilmslow Community and in understanding how our many community groups contribute so much to our town. Sophie has made a real difference since taking up the temporary role, demonstrated by both the communications statistics and the wider impact that she has made within the small Town Council Team”
Any community groups that are keen to make contact with Sophie should in the first instance contact her via her email, firstname.lastname@example.org
The role is not designed to replace the ongoing roles within the Council or the role of individual Councillors. Details of how to contact the Council office or your individual Ward Councillors are available on the Wilmslow Town Council website.
Pictured above: Sophie Taylor with Matthew Jackson, Town Clerk.