POA News

53 | 21.04.2017

Forthcoming General Election

Whilst visiting HMP Full Sutton on Tuesday 18th April 2017, the news broke that Theresa May would ask Parliament to vote on calling a General Election.

At the ensuing branch meeting later that day, I told our members that it is everyone's responsibility to ensure that our workplaces and the concerns we have are at the forefront of the Campaign.  The small NEC are unable to do this alone especially in such a short time frame of 7 weeks.

Civil Servants are expected to remain neutral during an election campaign and I suspect guidance to that effect will be published in due course as is customary.

What I would ask all members to do, irrespective of where they work, is write to any prospective candidate or indeed your incumbent MP, so that they are aware we want them to campaign on our issues and listen to our concerns as part of the wider election debate beyond Brexit.  We would also want them to attend our workplaces and meet with staff.  This may need to happen in your own time and outside of your place of work, as access can be restricted and difficult.  I would ask that local POA committee leads would try and organise this.

Your local MP can be found via this link;

Some of you will not live in the constituency area of your workplace and so your MP may not have an establishment under their remit, but we must also pursue those candidates and canvass their views.  This work will need to rest with the NEC and support staff and I will ask our team to start work on engagement with prospective candidates immediately, but please also make contact yourself.

To aid this process on behalf of the NEC a standardised letter for members to send out to incumbent MP's and once known all other candidates is attached.  Obviously feel free to write and send whatever you believe and this letter will not cover all of our issues but will hopefully ensure MP’s and prospective candidates are thinking about our issues once a new Government is formed.

Could I also ask that any responses to your letters and requests are copied to nc@poauk.org.uk with your details and Branch that you work at, so that we can track and collate replies for future reference.

Yours sincerely

National Chair