Thanks to Cllr Robin Ashby, Newcastle Upon Tyne, for sharing his Nextdoor best practice.
Nextdoor a free community discussion group, formerly Streetlife, which can be used to promote candidates and issues. It’s also used for goods and services “wants” and community concerns – so you can join in those debates, as well as initiating them.
It’s organised on a “neighbourhoods” basis which may or may not equate to a ward.
As well as access to the neighbourhood in which you register, you can use it to spread your message to adjoining ones. In my case in north Newcastle, there are 81 neighbours which roughly equates to my ward, and 756 in 15 nearby.
You have the chance to help build up the network locally. They’ll happily use your database but that’s a data protection breach so we don’t do it. You can see on a diagram map of which homes have been invited and which have accepted, as well as there being a membership list which can be accessed.
If anybody accepts your invitation, you can get them to send postcards to five addresses you nominate (names not needed) for them to also join the Nextdoor network. At the moment there’s at least one response to each of the five postcards that I trigger.
It’s also possible to download an invitation template which can also be stuck through doors.
The material I use is already posted on my Facebook page and Residents’ group pages (some of which I’ve set up myself) so there’s no content generation issue.
It’s useful for sharing event, hearing about local issues such as burglaries and commenting on residents’ concerns.
There’s some duplication of circulation, but this is the only one I’ve come across where you can use it proactively to get more contacts rather than just waiting for people to respond to your online presence or putting something in Focus and hoping.
Sadly there is no facility for a local councillor living out of the area to access this for their ward