Localising National Issues

When it comes to either campaigns or developing council policy, it is sometimes difficult to think where to start. More often than not however the issues that the Party is campaigning on nationally can work on a local context.

Whether it is using campaign packs, party press releases or even a hot topic in the news, there are plenty of ways to localise national issues and we will explore how you can do this below:

Why localise the national?

As a Party we put localism first and foremost in our thinking so at first it might appear counterintuitive to look at national issues, but we would argue otherwise. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Nearly all public services are run locally to some degree or another – it might be by the Council, or an NHS board, so it is perfectly valid to localise these issues.
  • Many of the issues that people care about most are national but you can make it real to them by localising it – we can have a bigger impact if we campaign on the issues people care about most and it is also more likely to get us into the press.
  • If the Party can be seen as strong on messaging on certain issues both locally and nationally, it will help develop our credibility in our messaging.

Using Campaign Packs

The easiest way to localise a national issue is to use campaign packs created by either ALDC or the Party on various issues.

These packs are a tried and tested way of localising issues and often they contain everything you need for a successful campaign – such as Focus drop-in articles, template press releases and template/example motions that can be used in Council meetings. Sometimes these can contain localised statistics that you can use.

These have been used in a highly effective way by local Lib Dem teams – such as a recent dentistry pack that was used by Fife councillors and got them multiple front pages of regional/local newspapers, a motion for their Council meeting and plenty to lead on in their Focuses.

By using these packs, local teams teams know there is a tried and tested campaign prepared and they can easily deploy it.

You can find ALDC’s Campaign Packs here.

Party Press Releases

The Party Press team put out plenty of press releases, and often these contain useful nuggets that you can use locally.

Much of the Party’s press centres on the issues that are most topical at the time, and often contain great information. These can provide some inspiration for you and can help you in directing where you might research the issue locally (such as the questions you might have for officers).

If the Party raises an issue in Parliament, it will almost be in a press release too.

In a similar vein, even if there is no press release, you might also see a national news story that gives you some inspiration to investigate the issue locally.

The Party’s press releases can be found here.

Some final thoughts

Whether it is giving you inspiration or providing a tried and tested campaign, national issues can be a great way to inspire your work either in the Council or in your campaigning.

It has worked really well for many of our teams, and we would encourage you to use this method in your area.

Helen Fontaine says

Can you tell me what the Local Parties policy on the Norwich to Tilbury 400KV electricity transmission line with mostly Pylons and Trenches. I am campaigning actively against as Ardleigh has 45 Hectors Substation and one line coming in and one going out. Total devastation to the whole village. Sir Bernard Jenkin and local Conservative Councilors are promoting that have this campaign and will stop it.
I don't know what to say that our parties Policy is.

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