In order to build political opposition to the FE cuts, we are asking branches to contact local MPs and parliamentary candidates to offer to brief them about the local impact of the cuts.
To ensure maximum impact, here are a few points to remember when you brief your local MP/candidates:
- when you contact candidates, emphasise that the cuts will directly affect many voters in the constituency; eg, not just students but also college staff and parents as well as businesses that may be affected if there is a cut in local provision.
- the main aim of the exercise is to get MPs/candidates to pledge their support for opposing and reversing the cuts if elected. Candidates need to understand how their constituents will be affected by the cuts, so add some local flavour to your letter (eg, what types of courses could be at risk, and which learners/staff will be affected, highlight success stories).
- don’t get partisan – stay focussed on the impact of the cuts in your local area. MPs of all parties will often be sympathetic to issues if they can see that they directly affect their constituents, even if this means going against party policy.
- be helpful! Offer to meet them again and/or provide more information if it would be useful – the public affairs team are happy to support you with this as necessary. Provide clear contact details so the candidates can contact you again about college matters
- be clear. Make sure the candidates you meet know that you will make their views on the cuts public locally.