In its heyday of 2007 we had 33 councils take part in I’m a Councillor, Get me out of here! Some councils took part year after year.
In 2010 the demand had reduced to 6 councils and the increased pressure on council budgets combined with pressure on our time running the sister event, I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here meant that we didn’t promote it to councils again.
It’s a shame we stopped. I look back at the questions from 2010 and what I see is such great 2-way, genuine engagement between councillors and young people. Questions about lighting and safety, young people in care, bmx tracks, and cuts in government spending.
There’s a video here if you need reminding of how students and teachers feel about the event.
Some things change.
We’ve had a few calls from councils asking if we’re going to run the event again. I’d like to, but we need to do a little more work on the site to bring it up to date. It only really makes sense if we have a few councils wanting to take part. Would you like your council to take part?
We’ve made a few changes since most people last took part. In particular this website.
We rebuilt the site from the ground-up in WordPress. This makes it more reliable, faster, easier to use and easier to moderate than ever. The question answering process, the notifications, the ability to use photos and insert links are all much easier. We have widgets showing unanswered questions for councillors, we have related questions showing other questions on a similar subject making it easier to de-dupe questions and to find more equally interesting stuff.
The new site is also far easier to us to configure. That means we can be much more flexible in how we run the event. The most popular mode still is an intensive 2 week event with live chats and evictions. However, we can, and have run events over 10 weeks with lots of different councillors participating and no evictions. We could run the event over a whole year as a long-term genuine 2 way engagement process allowing students to log in and book live chats as and when it suited their timetable.
So, my question is, Should we relaunch I’m a Councillor? Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let me know.