It may help in the planning stages to know what support your council could give you. Take the approach that, if you’re doing something active in your community, it’s beneficial for the council to support it — after all, it will be powered by people, not council budgets! Keep your interactions friendly (having a good relationship with the right people will help make things easier in the long run). Try to have the information you know to hand, and be clear about what you want, to help speed up processes and decisions.
You could approach your local elected official to gain their support too.
Some local councils have ‘communities’ teams and if you contact them to let them know what you’re planning, they may be able to offer you support. Sometimes there are even very small pots of funding you might be able to tap into.
Each council is different though, and involvement and protocol will vary across regions and countries. But information will be on each council’s web page — you can find your local council’s site easily, by entering postcodes with GOV.UK or see an A–Z list of local authorities and their websites.
If bureaucracy bites and you have problems with a local council when trying to plan your project or event, here are some approaches that may help.
Writing a letter is a great way to gain the attention of your local elected representatives, as they must respond to letters from their constituents.
You can find out who your local representatives are through the Write to Them website. We always suggest approaching the right council department first, but if they haven’t been able to help you, the next step is to see if your local councillor will be able to do anything. The key thing is to be clear about what you want, how they can be of help, and by when. If you’re feeling brave, you could always turn up at one of their surgeries — these offer the perfect opportunity to ask your questions and get advice. It’s what they’re for!
If you’ve had some teething problems with the planning of your event or need help seeking council support, you can also get in touch with us and the wider network of Eden Project Communities folk for further help or advice.
Look out for your local council on social media, you can direct their interest to events and activities by tagging them or commenting where appropriate.
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