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Council tweet seizes on siege to promote Chepstow

Monmouthshire County Council apologised after trying to use an armed siege to attract visitors to the Wye Valley via Twitter.

When armed police were involved in a siege in Chepstow on Wednesday 3 August, a council staff member used the incident to promote the Wye Valley. The siege was chronicled on Twitter, as we reported on the day.

Moments after the eight-hour siege ended peacefully, a tweet from @visitwyevalley account was broadcast to nearly 1,000 followers, saying:

An armed crazy man is not only reason to visit Chepstow (hes gone now anyway). They also hve (sic) a lovely castle & museum.

The Twitter feed run by Monmouthshire Council, @visitwyevalley, promotes the picturesque Wye Valley, which borders Wales and England.

The offending tweet was later removed and another posted saying:

A tweet from earlier today which was not intended to offend has been deleted. We apologise for any upset caused.

A Monmouthshire County Council spokesman said today:

“One of our staff members made an error of judgment in tweeting a comment relating to a serious incident in Chepstow. The comment was completely unacceptable and we unreservedly apologise for any offence caused.

The staff member has deleted the tweet and apologised to those followers on Twitter who saw it. This error contravenes our social media guidance and indeed is not the sort of comment we’d expect from a member of staff in any environment.

We will ensure that all staff using social media are reminded of their responsibilities and the council’s social media policy, and are offered training where appropriate.”

A 34-year-old man arrested after yesterday’s siege is still being questioned by police.

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