Cost of Harrogate council's social media training revealed

Dozens of Harrogate Borough Council staff received social media training last year, FOI figures show.
Dozens of Harrogate Borough Council staff received social media training last year, FOI figures show.

Harrogate Borough Council spent £1028.20 on social media training for dozens of staff at a 2018 workshop, new figures show.

A freedom of information request to the authority revealed that 32 council staff members attended a workshop ran by Creative Communicators Ltd last year.

The cost of the workshop came to a total of £1028.20, which included travel expenses but excluded VAT costs.

The stand-alone fee for training was £895 (excluding VAT).

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It was the only expense that council spent on social media training with an external agency in a three year period from 2016 to 2019.

A council spokesperson said that the authority had more than 50 social media accounts across various platforms for many different council services.

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He said this necessitated the training of dozens of staff to help manage them.

"Social media presents us with new, innovative and cost effective ways of communicating with our residents," the spokesperson said.

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He added that the large geographical area that the borough covers made social media a valuable tool for reaching residents.

"We are a large authority and provide many services which people need to be kept informed about," the spokesperson said.

"It makes perfect sense to train our staff how to use these tools properly."

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter