Influencing Government and Business
The people, organisations and institutions you aim to influence will have a big impact on the sorts of tactics you wish to use in your campaign.
Here are some information to help you with influencing.
Parliament is a common target for campaigns that aim to create change nationally. Parliament is where laws that govern the whole country are made.
Members of Parliament (MPs) raise:
- issues brought to them by constituents
- scrutinise the work of Government
- and shape laws
Parliament: how it works
There are many ways you can influence parliament.
Your local MP
You can contact your local MP to raise an issue. They can then raise questions in Parliament or write to Government Ministers to raise your issue.
Select committees are groups of MPs from different political parties that investigate the work of government and run inquiries to learn more about a topic.
You can submit evidence to select committees, supporting and raising your concerns. The Government usually respond to reports made by select committees.
You can set up a petition. And get supporters to sign your petition to show their support.
If you manage to get 10,000 signatures the Government must respond. If you get 100,000 or more it will be considered for debate in parliament.
Freedom of information requests
Freedom of Information (FOI) requests can be made to public sector organisations, including Government departments. FOIs can be a helpful way to gather evidence on an issue and help you demonstrate the need for change.
About Freedom of Information requests
Your local council has oversight of the things that happen in your local area. These usually include services like:
- local state schools
- social care
- refuse collection
Types of council
There are different types of local council.
- district council
- county council
- unitary authority
- metropolitan borough
- London borough
In some areas, finding out who is responsible for certain things can get complicated. Spend time getting to know how your local council works.
If you are in an area governed by 2 different councils, check your postcode to find out which council is responsible for which issues in your area.
Local government: how it works
If you live in Wales, the following issues are covered by the Welsh Assembly.
- social care
Assembly Member (AMs) are elected by the local people and do a similar job to MPs, raising issues and scrutinising the work of the Welsh government. The Welsh Assembly consists of 40 constituency and 20 regional AMs.
The Welsh Assembly: how it works
Not all campaigns require political change. Sometimes persuading a business to do something different is a better way to achieve your goal.
Does this sound like your campaign?
Start by finding the person most able to create the change you want. This might be:
- Customer Services
- a Facilities Manager, or
- the person responsible for diversity and inclusion
Once you have identified the person, approach them politely and constructively. Be prepared, think through your case for change and any reasons the business might not support your campaign and come up with persuasive counter arguments.
Other things to consider:
- the businesses interests and goals. How can your campaign appeal to them?
- financial arguments. These are usually more persuasive to businesses than arguments based purely on equality and fairness.
- other customers or trade bodies. These organisations and people might be able to help you call for change. These could be included in your target audience.