YOUNGSTERS in Kirklees will be pleased to hear that the council has finally embraced texting...

But this kind of texting is not about where to meet up or for Pop Idol style voting for your favourite councillor.

This texting is not even using anything as common as a mobile phone.

Instead, council officers have bought themselves a set of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?-style voting handsets (pictured).

But don’t worry, your councillors are not wasting your taxes playing quiz games in their break time, these texts are not for ‘fastest finger first’, but are in fact a new way of gathering research.

Recently used at the youth focussed Colne Valley Area Committee, the audience response system involves giving wireless handsets to students or audience members, and prompting them to vote on a number of questions projected on a screen.

All the voting is completely anonymous and council officers only receive the answers to the questions and not the location or identity of the respondent.

The council’s community planning officer, Gill Greaves, said they had in fact been using the system for a couple of years and it had been a real boon in gathering honest answers to typically sensitive subjects such as money and alcohol.

She said: “We’ve used it at area committee public meetings to give feed-back on how they felt the area committee had spent its money.

“And it’s especially good for talking to children on alcohol issues. People feel they can give more truthful answers when they’re voting anonymously,” she added.