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EDITIONS
 Monday, 2 December, 2002, 14:22 GMT
Text news service targets young people
Mobile phone generic
News of local events and council information is given
Teenagers in Caerphilly have asked the council to text them information on events, live music and news in a new scheme to improve communication.

The idea was the brainchild of the Caerphilly youth forum who were asked to come up with ways the local authority could keep in contact with young people.

Text messaging has become a very popular among teenagers

Stephen Pugh, Caerphilly Council

The mobile phone service provides bulletins on youth forum and council news it also offers information on roadworks so people can avoid the queues.

Text messaging or SMS was introduced in 1995 and is used by over 70% of mobile phone owners - the council are hoping to tap into that market under the new scheme.

Stephen Pugh from Caerphilly council said: "We wanted to find ways of communicating with young people and asked for ideas how to do it.

"It was suggested that we start a text messaging service because most young people use their mobiles to communicate with each other.

"Text messaging has become a very popular among teenagers and so the council have taken up their idea.

"Although the service is open to everyone living in the area, we are aiming the service at young people," he said.

Text character
The council are asking for help to name the new cartoon

The service works by people texting their details to a special number and indicating what information they would like to receive.

The user can then to pick up the latest information sent out by the council from their mobile phones.

As part of the development, a cartoon character has been designed to go with the new service and local people are being asked to suggest a name for her.

"We want people to contact the service with their ideas for a name for the new cyber character," said Mr Pugh.

Councillor Colin Mann, the deputy leader of the council said: "We are keen to encourage as many people as possible, especially our younger residents, to sign up to this new service and receive up-to-the-minute information from the council about a variety of issues."

To get the new service, text the following information to 07776 201135:

    Your mobile number
      Your name and date of birth
        What info you want to receive:

        1. What's on

        2. Youth forum news
        3. Live music
        4. Council news
        5. Roadworks
        6. Other - text your request

      More from south east Wales
      See also:

      12 Nov 02 | Technology
      05 Nov 02 | Technology
      23 Oct 02 | Business
      23 Oct 02 | England
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