Swindon Advertiser£4,140 to be media savvy (From Swindon Advertiser)

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£4,140 to be media savvy

Swindon Advertiser: Mayor Nick Martin Mayor Nick Martin

SWINDON Council forked out more than £4,000 to send councillors on media training courses in the past three years.

According to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, from January 2011 to December 2013 the council spent £4,140 on making councillors media savvy, including current cabinet members Claire Ellis and Richard Hurley and mayor Nick Martin.

Defending the expense to taxpayers in order to provide the media training, Coun Martin, a member of the Conservative party and ward councillor for Shaw, said: “Particularly as mayor I have had a lot of dealings with the Adver and with the radio, and being in a public profession I think it’s important to have training in order to be able to know what the person on the other end of the microphone wants.”

The sessions, which were delivered in-house, involved a mock radio and newspaper interview and took place on September 6, 2011, September 9, 2011, Septem-ber 4, 2012 and September 17, 2012.

Each session cost £1,035, regardless of how many people attended. Only six members were allowed to attend per session, meaning the cost for the training per head was at least £172.50.

This doubled to £345 on September 6, 2011 when only three members, including Andrew Bennett, Richard Hurley, and the Labour Party’s parliamentary candidate for north Swindon, Mark Dempsey attended.

Coun Dempsey, the ward councillor for Walcot and Park North, declined to comment.

Leader of the Council, David Renard, was one of the councillors who did not receive media training in the past three years, but he said it was important that councillors received the training in order to know how best to get their messages across.

“Councillors need training in a whole range of subjects and we have a very comprehensive programme for councillors and part of what is offered is training in how to talk to the media,” he said.

Comments (6)

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7:41am Sat 15 Feb 14

Bimbosforjustice says...

How much training would it cost to stop Cllr Martin asking about 'Monguls' having sex with each other? Either way the ensuing media attention was priceless
How much training would it cost to stop Cllr Martin asking about 'Monguls' having sex with each other? Either way the ensuing media attention was priceless Bimbosforjustice
  • Score: 1

8:51am Sat 15 Feb 14

stratton man says...

Sadly Cllr Martin is an oaf who regards such language as perfectly normal.
Sadly Cllr Martin is an oaf who regards such language as perfectly normal. stratton man
  • Score: 2

11:27am Sat 15 Feb 14

Davey Gravey says...

Considering the comments alleged to have been made by the mayor that was more tax payers money wasted then.
Considering the comments alleged to have been made by the mayor that was more tax payers money wasted then. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 1

8:22am Sun 16 Feb 14

1 2 Could B says...

So.......
Councillors need special training in order to communicate?

Swindon Borough Clownschool strikes again
So....... Councillors need special training in order to communicate? Swindon Borough Clownschool strikes again 1 2 Could B
  • Score: -1

2:39pm Sun 16 Feb 14

trolley dolley says...

What is wrong with training ?

It seems to be that whatever is attempted by SBC there are always people in Swindon who will complain.

It is of course their democratic right to do so but this one is a bit silly.

What the posters should be saying is why not MORE training.
What is wrong with training ? It seems to be that whatever is attempted by SBC there are always people in Swindon who will complain. It is of course their democratic right to do so but this one is a bit silly. What the posters should be saying is why not MORE training. trolley dolley
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Sun 16 Feb 14

anotherimigrant says...

wot diff ds it mk thy cn only spk in txt.

There all ignorant, don't reply to letters or complaints. An utter shambolic load of bovine excrement.
wot diff ds it mk thy cn only spk in txt. There all ignorant, don't reply to letters or complaints. An utter shambolic load of bovine excrement. anotherimigrant
  • Score: -3

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