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Starting your own campaign

Starting your own campaign

 

There are lots of different ways to campaign.  How you campaign depends on what you want to achieve.  

 

Before you start your campaign it is important to remember that some local authorities will be cutting services to replace them with better, more modern services.  Often this is because the current service they provide is out of date and they believe they can provide an improved service in a different way.  Some local authorities close facilities like day centres and residential care homes because they believe there is a more modern way of providing this type of service.

 

However, many local authorities are being forced to make cuts because they do not have enough money.  They often do this by cutting services or reducing the number of people who can use existing services.  Some local authorities cut services because they do not believe the needs of people who have learning disabilities are as important as the other services the local authority provides.

 
The most common cuts include:
  • Restricting eligibility criteria – this is where a local authority limits social care services to those with the highest needs.  When local authorities raise their eligibility criteria they limit the number of people who are entitled to receive a social care service.
  • Charging – the introduction of charges and increased charges count as cuts because the individual is paying the cost so that they don’t lose their service.  The local authority must carry out a financial assessment to be sure that the individual is able to pay.

 

When starting a campaign you should make sure that you have all the facts about what is happening and why.  If you are campaigning about cuts to a service, try and work out the reasons why the service is being cut. 

 

How can I find out more?

 

You should consider doing some or all of the following:

  • Contact your local Social Work Department and ask for information on proposed cuts or changes to services
  •  Meet with representatives of your local Social Work Department and ask them questions about the proposed cuts
  •  Discuss the issue with other people who use the service, families, carers and parents
  •  Contact your local partnership board (usually called a Community Planning Partnership) and find out if they have been involved in making these decisions
  •  Check the local authority’s website for records of decisions the Council has taken
  •  Ask the local authority to provide you a copy of its policy for social care cuts
 

Try to find out:

  • If the local authority has already made its decision or whether it is still considering other options?
  • Why the local authority is cutting the service?
  • If any consultation has taken place with the people who use the service.  If so, what were the findings?
  • Dates of important meetings, deadlines or timescales for cuts.
 
Keep hold of any correspondence you receive as it may be useful when telling other people about the campaign.
 
Next steps

 

Once you have this information try and write down a clear objective for your campaign.  Think about who you will be challenging and what you want to achieve. 

 

Try and get involved with other campaigners or local campaign groups and ask them if they will help you.  It might be helpful to write a plan of action which includes timescales for each action.

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