Meet with Local Councillors
Councillors have responsibility for many decisions made locally. They play a crucial role in determining funding for many voluntary sector organisations. They are elected locally and are accountable to the people who live and work in that area.
It is really important that people who work in the voluntary sector or benefit from organisations funded locally make councillors aware of the impact of the cuts, and to lobby them to ensure that vital services are properly funded by local authorities.
Councillors hold surgeries in their wards (the areas they represent) and anyone can go and meet with their councillors to raise issues of concern. It is important to raise issues with your local councillor, and usually there is a councillor who has responsibility for core areas of work like Children and Young People, Housing or someone dedicated to the Voluntary Sector.
To find out who your councillor is, you can contact your local town hall. Councillors details are usually on the website of your local council too.
You can then
1. Write to them and ask to meeting with them
2. Visit one of their surgeries. These are often advertised locally, or can be found out from contacting the council or councillor direct.
When you meet with your councillor
1. Set out the benefit of the local charity/service to the local community
2. Explain the impact that the cuts are having on services, local people and jobs
3. Get the councillor to commit to raise this issue and come back to you
4. Work with the councillor to try and stop the cuts in the area
Alternatively, it can be very powerful to invite your local councillor along to your voluntary organisation and get them to see the work that you do and to meet with some service users. It is a good setting to discuss the impact of cuts in this environment.
If the councillor is not supportive, it is a good opportunity to write to your local newspaper and tell them.