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Local influence

How to influence what is happening locally

 

Many local authorities are cutting social care services.  This can leave people without the care and support they need. 

 

If your campaign is objecting to a decision made by a local authority, target your initial efforts towards the local authority.  It may be that a final decision hasn’t been made and you could influence what happens.  There are a number of ways you can do this:

 

Contacting the local authority

 

Target any contact with the local authority towards the department responsible for the cut.  If your campaign is about a social care service this will usually be the Social Work Department (some local authorities have different names for this department).  Target any correspondence towards the head of the particular type of service you are campaigning about, for example the Head of Adult Social Services or the Head of Children’s Services.

 

The most effective way of contacting the local authority is by writing letters and meeting officials.  When writing to a local authority outline the following:

  • Why you are writing
  • Your opinion on the issue you are campaigning about
  • What you want to happen
  • Any future meeting dates or campaign events you have planned
  • You contact details
  • Information you have collected

You may also want to ask other campaigners to write a similar letter to show the local authority how many people are concerned about this issue.
  
Meetings with the local authority

 

If you are meeting with the local authority face-to-face, try and meet with someone in a senior position as they will be able to give you more answers to your questions. 

 

Make sure that they have plenty of notice of the meeting and how many people will be there before you arrange it.  You may wish to invite journalists to your meeting, but you should make sure that the local authority representative knows about this beforehand.

 

After the meeting you may wish to write to the local authority reminding them of what was discussed and anything they said they would do. 

 

Who else should I contact?

 

You may want to contact your local community partnership board.  This is a group of people who work with the local authority and represent the views of people who have learning disabilities, their families and carers and voluntary organisations.  Community Partnership Boards should have been involved in any decisions over cuts and may be able to provide you with more information or other people to contact.

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