Resources to help you
1. Guide to Local Government
Local government is quite complicated and works differently in different parts of the country. Different parts have responsibility for housing, homelessness and public health. There is no one in local government whose work does not touch on housing and homelessness. Get our Homeless Link’s Guide to Local Government. Or here for a guide from the Local Government Association.
2. Guide to Campaigning as a Charity
If you are a charity, you are not allowed to exist for only political activities. However, according to the Charity Commission campaigning and political activity can be legitimate and valuable activities for charities to undertake. Charities can campaign for a change in the law, policy or decisions where such change would support the charity’s purposes. If in doubt, see this full guidance from the Charity Commission.
3. Contact details for candidates
You can get details of all the candidates from the Returning Officer at the local council after nominations close on April 8, but they may not share email addresses. You can also contact the local political parties for lists of candidates or keep an eye on the local media. Details for mayoral election candidates and Police and Crime Commissioners may well be available earlier.
The website Democracy Club hopes to have information about all candidates in all local elections from early April. You can check all the elections in your particular postcode using their checker here.
4. Background Policy Briefings
The #EveryoneInForGood Pledge does not go into detail about different policies and approaches. However, if you would like to engage in more detail with a candidate, or you are interested in finding out more you can see Homeless Link’s Resources pages.
5. Working with the local media
You can call on the candidates to support the #EveryoneInForGood Pledge through your local media. Here is a letter that you can use as the basis of yours. Of course, this is a great opportunity to promote your work and particular local issues. Alternatively, you can issue a press release. Here is Homeless Link’s guide to writing a press release.
6. Guide to running a Virtual Hustings
Here is a guidance document for running a virtual hustings event. You can also find advice on how to make sure your hustings is impartial from the Electoral Commission here.
7. Learning from others
There’s nothing like learning from others, so here is a blog from someone who organised a hustings event previously.
8. How to register to vote if you are homeless
In order to take part in local elections people must first be registered to vote. People without a permanent address are able to register to vote. The last date for registrations to vote this year is 19th April.
9. How to work strategically with local authorities
As more general background, here is Homeless Link’s guide to working strategically with local authorities.