The Week of Action for Clean Air Everywhere is the perfect opportunity to get new MPs to commit to a Clean Air Zone in your area.
It comes two weeks after the general election. That means a renewed set of MPs whose job it is to represent us and address our concerns.
Ask your MP to commit to a Clean Air Zone by:
- Signing the “I support a Clean Air Zone for ... ” prop and posing for a photo.
- Providing a supportive quote (see press release).
- Giving an explicit commitment to press the Government for funded Clean Air Zones everywhere with illegal levels of pollution in the final Air Quality Plans.
- Doing all of the above!
If it's appropriate, you can invite your MP along to your action in person. The key thing is to get a public commitment from your MP - a photo with the MP photo prop and a quote for local media would be ideal.
If they can’t come, or it’s simpler for you, you could arrange a visit to your MP in their constituency office.
MPs usually have weekly surgeries, and will often see groups during these.
Sometimes they prefer to keep their surgeries to constituency matters, so they may prefer to meet you at another time.
However you meet, check out our handy four-step guide to getting your MP on board:
Inviting your MP
- Do your research: Research is key! Find out whether your MP is active on air pollution (if not, they might be active on related areas like health) in parliament using Hansard and www.theyworkforyou.com. Have they written any relevant blogs or articles? Then tailor your letter (and then your meeting) to your MP's interests and increase your chances of success.
- Think local: Are there any other constituency issues that this intersects with? (E.g. a car manufacturing industry, or struggling hospital). Make sure you refer to these.
- Have a clear ask: Make it clear exactly what you’re inviting them to. For the Week of Action it might be a photo opportunity at your 'Clean Air Zone' stall. See above for more details on the sort of commitment you might be after.
- Choose your timing: Many MPs are often in Westminster from Monday – Thursday and back in their constituency for on Friday. The timing of your event could impact whether or not your MP is able to turn-up, especially if your constituency is outside London.
- Chase: MPs receive a lot of emails and letters, so do make sure to follow up with a phone to call to double check they’ve received your invitation.
Before your meeting or event
- Tell the media: Your local media may well be interested. See our media section for more details.
- Bring information to the meeting (if you can): local constituency level information plays really well with MPs. It could be a survey you’ve done, some research, or a story about a business or school in your constituency. Contact us email@example.com if you’d like help sourcing local stats about air pollution and health impacts.
- Don’t go it alone! Aim to bring between two and four people along with you. Have a little get together beforehand to talk tactics.
During the meeting or event
- Chair: Gently establish yourself as chair of the meeting. Start off assertively.
- Be savvy: Praise them for any relevant action they've taken to get them on your side. Then probe for information: what are the obstacles to change? Who might be good allies?
- Keep them on track: If you're MP goes off topic, guide them back by saying something like "I know you're busy, but what we came to talk about was..."
- Take notes: Make sure you appoint someone to take detailed notes of what is said.
- Take a photo: Ask if you can get your picture taken, with our MP prop if you can.
After the meeting or event
- Follow up: Email your MP to thank them. Remind them of their action points and when they can expect yours to be done by. You could also tweet it.
- Share your feedback: Let us know how it went by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.