WBG created two toolkits, one of which focused on how women could campaign locally to improve specific local services (‘Making Your Voice Heard. A Women’s Toolkit for Local Lobbying’, produced in 2011), and the other focused on how women could challenge local budget cuts (‘Women vs Local Cuts. Challenging Gender Equality Impact Assessments and Local Government Budget’, produced in 2013).
The ‘Making Your Voices Heard’ toolkit was developed from a workshop held in the town of Wolverhampton, in partnership with a women’s organization called Platform 51. It was made available online through the Women’s Budget Group website.
The ‘Women vs Local Cuts’ toolkit was developed through workshops with the Women’s Equality Network Somerset in the town of Taunton and with the Women’s Employment and Enterprise Unit in the city of Norwich, and was later made available online. This toolkit was used in workshops with the Women’s Resource Centre in London and with UNISON, a British trade union.
The toolkits focused on providing both background information and key guidance focused on specific examples, and tried to present the material in a lively and interactive way. We included lots of tips about where to get relevant information for your locality, especially through online sources. Where information was not publicly available, we explained how to make a Freedom of Information Request to local government bodies to try to get access to more information. The toolkits also discussed what action women could take, including getting publicity in local media, writing to local councillors and attending council meetings to ask questions during the Public Question Time.