Here are some ideas for campaigning against cuts to services.
Organise an email or letter-writing campaign. If you can, give people a sample letter or email to send to their councillors that says clearly what the situation is and what you want them to do. If lots of people send letters to councillors, they might be persuaded to support you.
Work with the local MP. Although the council makes the decisions, a supportive MP can put pressure on the council and get publicity for the campaign. There might be more than one MP in the area so make sure you contact them all.
Launch a petition. This should explain what you are campaigning for and why people should support the campaign. If possible hold street stalls to get signatures and let the public know what is going on. You can also send the petition out by email so people can sign it that way.
Work with other local people. There will no doubt be many people who are affected by the cuts and who want to campaign, so contact local groups that might be interested in joining the campaign, e.g. older people’s and other disability groups. Strength in numbers is a powerful thing!
Organise a rally. You will need lots of people to join the rally and will need to hold it in a busy public place for it to be effective.
If you don’t succeed in changing the council’s mind before they cut a service, don’t give up! The council’s decision can still be challenged after the cut has happened. Write to the council asking for reasons for the decision and ask for everything in writing. If you are not satisfied with what they say you can complain. For information on how to complain see the 'Making a complaint' section.
Lots of people have campaigned against councils and won. In Cheshire a learning disability day service was saved from closure thanks to a public campaign and lots of consultation responses. In the Isle of Wight and Birmingham decisions to tighten eligibility criteria were overturned in the courts after a few individuals got legal advice and challenged the council. In Cornwall campaigners stopped the council from including a person’s disability benefits when deciding how much they can afford to pay for services.
Campaigns can stop cuts!