Queensferry & District Community Council’s (QDCC) Facebook and Twitter pages last week marked their first birthday after reaching a full year of service.

The social networking feeds on www.facebook.com/queensferry and @qdcc on Twitter feature regular updates posted by QDCC members on issues of importance to the local community, such as bus service changes, roadworks, planning applications, the Forth Road Bridge and Forth Replacement Crossing, as well as news of local events.

The pages also provide a forum for residents to provide and exchange information, something which proved invaluable during the severe weather at the end of last year which saw widespread disruption to services and transportation.

QDCC was the first community council in Edinburgh to embrace social networking and the pages now have a combined following of over 500 people.

Martin Gallagher, Vice-Chairman of QDCC, who led the setting up of the pages said: “Our consultations on the Forth Replacement Crossing in 2009 brought home the realisation that we needed to branch out beyond the traditional methods of engagement to ensure we could reach as much of the community as possible.  With today’s busy lifestyles, attending meetings or open evenings isn’t always a viable option, especially for those who work and have young families.  Online social networking is quick, convenient and available 24/7, without the need to attend a meeting at a fixed place and time.”

“The uptake of the Facebook and Twitter sites has been very encouraging.  They have quickly become an invaluable tool for QDCC in ascertaining and coordinating the views of the community.”

It is not just Queensferry residents who subscribe to the pages, with QDCC attracting a global following from as far afield as New York, California, Florida, Ohio, India, Australia and Puerto Rico.

Mr Gallagher added: I am pleased the social networking sites also allow past residents and visitors to keep in touch with what’s happening in Queensferry, and we’ve had several comments and photos left by past visitors from the United States.”

QDCC’s online social networking sites are maintained by five QDCC members.