Actually, I think it’s probably positive publicity for them. A lot of the comments on Plymouth forums support the move – “I don’t pay taxes for councillors to tell me what they had for lunch” etc. Of course, that may be coming from a position of ignorance about what Twitter is, but that doesn’t stop them holding that view and thinking the council did the right thing.
I’m with you in thinking that Plymouth, or any council, should be considering Twitter as a method of engagement. But the fact is – and I say this repeatedly – most people aren’t on Twitter. If you’re trying to engage with a community that includes the poor or elderly chances are you won’t find them on Twitter so enabling the officer who calculates housing benefit, or assesses social service need, to Tweet about it is not likely to improve service delivery.