Within our grassroots campaigns, it’s my aim to have every activist involved at every stage of our campaigns. From letter writing to leafleting and radio-phone-ins, every bit is as important as the next and yesterday was perhaps the best day of grassroots activism and co-ordination I’ve seen at the TPA.
Here’s how our activists in Norfolk, particularly Tony Flynn, Barbara Lockwood and Tony Callaghan made the difference to a story that will affect the lives of at least 500 taxpayers in North Norfolk:
10am – Barbara Lockwood calls the office informing me about a BBC story detailing how North Norfolk District Council are dispatching the bailiffs to at least 500 taxpayers who can’t (or won’t) pay their Council Tax.
11am – The blog goes up on the TPA website about the story
12am - Emails go out to our Norfolk Activists asking them to lobby their local radio and press about the issue and to get public debates going.
1 – 4pm – Tony Flynn and Tony Callaghan contact numerous radio stations about the issue
5.10pm – BBC Radio Norfolk host a debate on the issue where TPA members discuss how wrong it is for Council’s to send out bailiffs to collect council tax before they tighten their belts and stop wasteful spending.
So in one day, what could probably have been an issue concealed deep in the BBC website achieved widespread coverage across Norfolk. Now it’s up to us to keep the campaign going. I’ve written this morning to the Norwich Evening News and the Eastern Daily Press and I encourage you to do the same.
How can it be fair for the council to force their way into taxpayers’ homes and take taxpayers’ possessions when:
- North Norfolk District Council has increased its council tax from £572.13 in 1997 to £1281.81 in 2007;
- North Norfolk District Council spends £600,000 on its own self-congratulatory publicity, an increase of 22% since 1997;
- Norfolk County Council spends £2.5 million on its own propaganda, an increase of 166% since 1997;
- Last November Norfolk County Councillors awarded themselves a shocking 28% pay increase!
Please make this point to the local papers by sending letters to:
Please feel free to send your letters into any other Norfolk Newspaper. It’s injustices like these when real people feel the weight of the council come crashing down on them that we have to stand up to. Government, both local and national, is meant to be a public service, in the service of the taxpayer not a high-and-mighty power to bully us into filling their pockets.