Three simple tools to build a productive relationship with your council

Wednesday 15 May 2019

Blog authored by Kennedy Walker, Communications and Campaigns Officer, National CLT Network 

If you're a member of the network you may have gotten a phone call from our lovely intern, Galen who's been letting folks know about our campaign ‘winning over your council”. Last year, we met with a number of our CLT members to ask them what new direction we could take with the network's advocacy work. I'm constantly amazed and excited by the expertise, enthusiasm and political savvy of our members.

A prominent theme in these discussions was ways we could help groups kick start a productive, or strengthen existing relationships between them and their local council. For us, this makes complete sense. The CLTs that hold positive relationships with their council officials and indeed councillors are making excellent progress from accessing funding to acquiring land.

The prospects for more support for CLH from councils across England look promising. Recent research we carried out revealed 1 in 6 councils already have favourable community led housing policy in place.

        

With this momentum, the outcome from our membership gatherings and local elections recently taking place we decided to make a toolkit; three accessible documents that can help Community Land Trusts develop new or strengthen established relationships with their local council.

The first is the Local Advocacy Toolkit. It’s a small easy-to-digest booklet with tips and tricks from building your membership in order to increase legitimacy and collective power, to how to make a good first impression. The second is a Community Led Housing Manifesto. This document enables you to clearly state what you’re asking of your local council.  Finally, we have a template letter. This can be sent to a councillor or the council itself. It makes sense to send the letter along with the manifesto. Feel free to cater the letter to your local context, but it’s a good base document to work from. 

So far, the toolkit’s working! 

Claire from Cirencester Cohousing sent in:

“I sent your template letter and our mission statement to the existing councillors over the weekend and have had some response. The most positive was from the current leader of the Council who wants to promote community-led housing and asks for a meeting with us after the elections, if he is elected. We have found it almost impossible to penetrate fortress CDC before now, so this is a breakthrough and your letter is a great help”

For more information and to download the toolkit Click here. Feel free to drop me an email on kennedy@communitylandtrusts.org.uk if you have any questions. 

 

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