Working with your council

Councillors and MPs can be powerful allies when campaigning for change.

The first thing to consider is who exactly you need to speak to at the council – who has the power to make the change you are calling for? Do some research and find out who is the portfolio holder for the relevant area of concern, like housing or health & wellbeing for example.

Councillors are responsible for making decisions on behalf of the local community about local services like housing, education and social services, and allocating budgets As such, councillors can be very powerful allies when campaigning for change in your local community.

Councillors have the freedom to get on board with issues that matter to their local community, particularly in their ward, and will be interested in the issues that are impacting on your service and service users.

Portfolio holders influence the way local policy is shaped and how budgets are divided. They may have insight into or influence over emerging structures or changes in local government.

MPs are elected into the House of Commons and your local MP represents you at Westminster. They may also be members of select committees, which examine new laws or the work of government departments.

The support of your MP can be very powerful as they can participate in debates and voting on legislation and other matters that affect your service and clients. For example, they can raise questions for discussion in Parliament on your behalf.

Most local councillors and MPs hold surgeries in their local area where you can meet them in person to discuss the issues about which you are concerned. You can find contact their contact details at www.theyworkforyou.com or write to them via www.writetothem.com.