Independent Torfaen County Councillor Catherine Lewis was shortlisted by the award winning think-tank Local Government Information Unit for the Best Online Councillor 2010 award.
The Independent Network’s Tamsin Omond said independent councillors were increasingly becoming recognised and rewarded for providing innovative multimedia platforms for online dialogue between a ward and its representatives:
“Councillor Lewis provides what the voters want: a councillor who consults their constituency constantly and innovatively, rather that relying on directions from their political party.
“Councillor Lewis recently committed to the Independent Network’s Bell Principles – the first set of conduct guidelines created by a political organisation for its affiliated candidates and representatives. Catherine is a celebrated councillor who has promised – through her Independent Network affiliation – to be non-discriminatory, ethical and committed to pluralism. She listens and consults her ward free from the control of party political pressure or a whip. Her innovative use of online engagement tools will make it far easier to make decisions transparently and openly at every stage and level of the political process, enabling people to see how decisions are made and the evidence on which they are based.
“Independents are the only alternative to party politics,” Ms Omond said.
Councillor Lewis was the only independent politician in the category, just missing out on the top honour.
Councillor Lewis said:
“I’m an active hands on Independent councillor so it makes sense to bring modern technology to the finger tips of my constituents. With my online presence I am involved with my residents and constantly accessible to their needs. I update my website regularly and send out fortnightly Community Emails keeping the constituents up to date with local and Ward issues. I am thrilled to have made the finals and pleased that my online efforts have been recognised.”
Councillor Lewis was first elected as a Councillor for the Greenmeadow Ward in 2008 and is a member of the Appointments Committee, Cleaner Communities Overview and Scrutiny and Planning Committee.
Have a look at Councillor Lewis's online presence here: www.greenmeadowward.com
Follow her on twitter here: www.twitter.com/councillorlewis