It’s easy for the Government to do nothing – to continue to ignore vulnerable people we support and our valued workforce.
In April, the new financial year starts and providers face less than twelve months to pay crippling and unfair retrospective liabilities for ‘sleep-ins’. Government has to take a decision by this summer – the second quarter of the financial year. The only way to avoid this crisis moving towards catastrophe is to work together to ramp up pressure on MPs and get more of them to take up our cause.
Much of our Parliamentary support came through your work taking this up with local MPs – they’re concerned about the effect the sleep-in crisis can have in their own constituency, and we’ve seen local MPs turn up to our briefings to ask what can be done.
It will take all of us moving together and continuing this work to win this campaign – and we have limited time to act.
Right now, we need you to do three things:
1. Edit this letter and send it to all MPs where you provide services in their constituency. This is the most important thing you can do right now. We have drafted the email for you, and finding email contact details and changing the letter should take less than five minutes for each constituency – and make a big impact.
2. Respond to the 3 questions at the end of this email.
3. Let us know if you have any stories about how the sleep-in crisis is affecting you, whether as providers, from families, donors or people who rely on services. Even if you would prefer they be anonymous, we are collecting case studies to illustrate.
We may need a single day of action in mid-May as a pre-planned campaign tool to push the Government to act on sleep-ins before it’s too late.
Options could include a mass lobby of Parliament, where a number of people come to Westminster on the same day to meet with their Parliamentarians, a regional/local lobby where providers assist visits to their Parliamentarians in their local offices and a virtual lobby where the networks of all providers (including families, staff and others) are engaged to call and email their Parliamentarians on a specific day with a message about this issue. We believe that the most effective campaign activity may be a strategic combination of all three of the options mentioned.
To plan this, we need to get an idea of what everyone might be able to do. Can you please respond to the three questions below asap?
Your response will allow us to know what we are working with to strategically plan the most effective campaign action. And we need to start planning now.
From this public affairs update, you’ll know that we’re working hard with Parliamentarians to get the Government to take action now. We’ve also asked you to get in touch with your MPs to help the campaign. The sleep-ins crisis isn’t new. Despite our recent campaign wins – getting Labour front bench support and having the Prime Minister questioned directly on sleep-ins at PMQs amongst many others – getting the Government to act won’t be easy.
They think that they are getting away with their shambolic handling of ‘sleep-ins’ it because the media is focused on Brexit. The Government will only respond if we make it harder for them to do nothing.
Planning a joint campaign action may be the key to ramping up this pressure on Parliamentarians enough for us to win this fight.
Help us do that – please send letters to your MPs now and then respond to the three questions below asap.
Lobbying Parliamentarians – Campaign Survey for Members
- Can you commit to urging people you support / their families / carers to attend a day at Westminster to lobby Parliamentarians? If yes, how many? What constituencies would they be from?
- Can you commit to participating locally by urging people you support / their families / carers to their MP’s local office or surgery? If yes, how many in which constituencies?
- Can you commit to participating by promoting to your staff, volunteers and other relevant contacts that they make a phone call in support of our campaign including any mailing lists and social media outlets you currently use? Approximately how many people would this be to and in which constituencies are they likely to be based?
P.S. Please review this public affairs update and a guide for talking to your MP on the sleep-ins issue should you need it. Please also use this draft letter which you can change easily to send to all MPs where you provide services – the more, the better.
Call to Action
Many of our Parliamentarian supporters came on board through your work – they’re concerned about the effect the sleep-in crisis can have in their own constituency. We need more supporters in Parliament now. Can you contact your MP, in all the consistencies you currently work in, and tell them you are concerned about the effect the sleep-in crisis will have? We’ve attached a draft letter for you to use, and every Parliamentarians email is easily accessible online. Please take a few minutes now to send emails to you Parliamentarians now. This could be the key to us winning this campaign.