Kingston Council has agreed to keep its customer service Twitter account for another six months after facing backlash from local residents.

The council unanimously agreed last night (September 19) to abandon a proposal to disband @contactKingston, which is a platform for residents to report issues on Twitter.

The popular @contactKingston account, which has 3,528 followers, is separate from its main corporate account @RBKingston, used to share traffic and local updates and health information.

A draft report published on the council website proposed to combine @RBKingston and @contactKingston accounts “to help better manage and protect the council’s reputation.”

The report reads: “The @ContactKingston Twitter feed is largely negative and doesn’t attract positive interactions when compared with the other social media accounts run by the council.

“This can promulgate more negative interactions and promotes a poor perception of the council.”

A petition was submitted on to Cllr Liz Green and Cllr Jon Trolley to save @ContactKingston and obtained 59 signatures.

James Giles, from New Malden, a community campaigner, said: “The petition absolutely made a big difference. Before the meeting, councillors had said online that they could 'change it back if it doesn't work'.

"Pressure from residents saw the council change their mind and vote against one of their own recommendations. It was fantastic, for once, to see the council listen to their residents."

He added: “The twitter account is quicker than ringing, and merging the twitter accounts together and closing down the @contactKingston twitter is ludicrous.

“The two serve a very different purpose and they have a very different following.”