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BASW England Manifesto gains support from policymakers

The manifesto was sent out to MPs representing English constituencies

Millions of people across the UK will go to the polling stations today in England, Scotland and Wales to cast their votes in this year's local elections. Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm, and if you have a postal vote that you have forgotten to post, you can simply take it to your polling station and drop it off there.

As part of BASW England's commitment to engage with politicians around social work, we published a manifesto with the six issues that we would be campaigning on over the coming year: 

  • Wellbeing of staff

  • Recognition of social work 

  • Values and ethics

  • Time for social work and putting people with lived experience at the heart of decision making 

  • Tackling the causes of social work crisis intervention 

  • Covid-19 Government Inquiry 

This manifesto was sent out to MPs representing English constituencies, with half a dozen MPs tweeting out our manifesto to their followers.

MPs who shared the manifesto included Harriet Harman, the Chair of the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights, who commented that ‘social work is an undervalued profession’.

We will continue campaigning to raise awareness with MPs on the key issues facing social workers, and how Parliament can improve both working conditions and legislate to make society a more just and equal society.

Engaging with local election candidates

Taking a step further to directly seek to influence candidates standing in these local elections in England, BASW sent out a short questionnaire to candidates from the four main parties standing to be a combined authority Mayor, as well as the candidates for Mayor of London, Mayor of Greater Manchester, and Mayor of Liverpool City Region. Not all the candidates responded, but those that did have their answers hosted on our website.

When the elections are over, and the new decision-makers take office, we will be strategically identifying who to reach out to about social work in their area, and what we can do to help influence that change.

It isn’t just during elections that we seek to engage with politics and politicians, but it is an activity we pursue all year. We have met with MPs, circulated briefings to parliamentarians about debates, and have a series of plans about events and opportunities to further develop our influence as a campaigning organisation.

Next year, there will be more local elections taking place and we’ll be looking at how best to use our influence to both inform members and to make our position known to the politicians of tomorrow.