Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Portsmouth City Council log a day's calls on Facebook

A council which banned its staff from Facebook has logged all public calls received in one day onto the site to encourage people to use social media.

More than 300 calls were logged by the council's help desk on Thursday and the experiment hailed as a success.

Council staff were given a ban in 2009 after it was revealed 400 hours were spent on Facebook every month.

A press officer said this rule did not apply to the communications and front desk staff.

He said "a limited number" of the staff were allowed to read updates of the calls.

Problems brought up during calls from the public included a smelly gully, requests for flea treatment, the removal of a freezer, a car reversed into a tree and a moth infestation.

Offer of biscuits

The "What we do 4U" day was designed to encourage residents to use social media to contact the council.

Early comments from online users focused on the council dominating news feeds, the stream of information Facebook users receive about their friends.

But the press team altered their presentation to make the updates less intrusive and the response became more positive.

One resident wrote on the site "just reading this makes me feel exhausted."

Another offered council staff chocolate biscuits.

Jo Duckenfield, customer services manager said: "The day was a great success and we hope more people will begin to use Facebook as a means of contacting us."

Calls were logged on the site between 0930 and 1600 BST.

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