Tuesday night this week saw me spend a couple of hours up at County Hall, as Paul and I attended our first ever Cornwall Social Media Cafe meet. Essentially, Cornwall Council were hosting the event. However, the first hour was not what we or a lot of the attendees had been expecting.
After we’d all had some tea and coffee plus a couple of biscuits we were treated to what only can be called a propaganda video detailing that everything Cornwall Council had done since central government announced cut backs to funding local councils had been the right thing to do. The video lasted for at least ten minutes it seemed.
Then, once the video was over, Chief Exec Kevin Lavery came on to speak to us all and spent a further three quarters of an hour congratulating himself and saying crazy things like PFIs are good. I truly could not believe the gall of the man.
Lavery failed to mention the issues of public transport or public toilets during all of his patting himself on the back. What I had experienced during the presentation of my MA two years earlier is obviously the normal way Lavery perceives people want to hear him speak.
In complete contrast was the second presentation of the night led by independent Councillor Andrew Wallis and the communications team at the Council. I found it really interesting listening to how they’ve been evolving their social media policy and how they want to improve the webcast and whether Facebook is as relevant to their approach as Twitter.
But yeah, Lavery’s section ruined most of the evening and noticeably peeved off people other than myself. Certainly, Mayor of Truro Rob Nolan was less than impressed and I never before thought a face that is usually so cheery could become so gloomy and unimpressed.
The simple lesson here is that if the Council ever want to host the CSMC again: don’t let Lavery speak.