How to contact your MP
We need your help to lobby MPs and campaign for better access. MP’s will want to hear what about the positive things our sport brings and what you, your club or your group are doing. Why is canoeing good for their community? Talk about any environmental action you have undertaken such as river clean ups, or support you are giving to young people or groups within the local community. We need to raise the profile of our sport at all levels, so this is your chance to make the case for canoeing being great!
Here are some key considerations and top tips for for getting in touch.
Engaging with your Member of Parliament (MP)
- Find your local MP and their contact details on the Parliament website: www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps . They are most likely to answer correspondence from their constituents than larger organisations.
- Find out more about your MP– find out which issues your MP is particularly passionate about, and what they’ve spoken in public about. It may also give you an insight into how they feel about the issues of access to our natural environment. They may even be a paddler!
- It is a good idea to send a letter rather than email, as this has a greater chance of being read. Send to their Westminster office and their constituency office. (If you don’t get a response within a few weeks, call their office and follow up). See below for a draft email/letter you can use and adapt.
Talk about the positives!
- It is vital that we get across the positive benefits to the public (specifically canoeists) having open access to water. Focus on the positive aspects of our sport, rather than arguing the case against anyone else…! We want everyone to share fairly and responsibly.
- Explain we want confirmation of the rights of the public to access on water. We seek the same responsible, open access on water, as the public already enjoys on land (walkers, climbers, cyclists)
Make the issue of access relevant to your constituency
- Use your own experiences to explain why this is an issue that needs resolving now. Your MP will also want to know how national issues are impacting on the local canoe club.
You can ask your MP to:
- Formally write to a minister and raise an issue on your behalf
- Advocate on your behalf to local agencies
- Sign an Early Day Motion (EDM) allowing MPs to draw attention to the issue; MPs register their support by signing individual motions
- Ask a parliamentary question that the UK Government must respond to
- Raise your issue verbally in a debate
Following up with your MP and feeding back
Follow up your meeting with an email or letter thanking them for their time and support. This will help keep them engaged in the future. Keep his or her office updated with information!
Let us know
- Please keep us in the loop with any letters and responses you receive. This helps us have an overview of all the efforts nationally and we can keep them involved on how the campaign is progressing (send to [email protected])