Webinar recording: Influencing local policy making

In this recording of our webinar (original event 18 November 2022), guest speakers discussed how to interact with policymakers in your area.

Leisure-time music groups are rooted in their local communities and their activity is most immediately affected by the policies and actions of their local authority. But how does that operate? Who are the right people to talk to? And when should you talk to them – when there is a problem or before? Should you connect to them anyway, so they know what you do and don’t inadvertently negatively affect your activity?

We welcomed two expert speakers:

  • Peter Golds, a councillor in the London borough of Tower Hamlets (and personally a great music fan), who spoke from the perspective of an elected member – those people you vote for in your local elections.
  • Adele Poppleton, Service Director for Culture and Visitor Economy at Kirklees Council which includes overseeing the team which will be working with music groups and various organisations to deliver the Kirklees Year of Music in 2023, who spoke from the perspective of an officer, i.e. an employee of the council.

We also featured a short presentation on local authority structures from the Sheila McKechnie Foundation, which supports change makers with resources and training.

The views represented by the speakers in this webinar are their own, and do not represent the views of Making Music.

Useful links:

Useful comments:

  • In England, all council officer emails are structured firstname.lastname@nameofcouncil.gov.uk
  • A solutions-oriented approach works best on both local and national levels. If you just describe the problem, the policymakers may not know how to address it, or might even make it worse by offering an unsuitable solution! You're the experts, so make sure you explain what might solve the issue.
  • Organisational strategies are very helpful and all councils have some form of them available on their website.
  • On local media: instead of just sending them the information, actually write the article for them! Research which section of the website it can go on and tailor it to fit with the others in terms of word count, structure etc.

If you have any questions about this event topic, please contact info@makingmusic.org.uk

We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.