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The Public Affairs Unit scrutinises government proceedings for areas relevant to The Salvation Army’s social justice objectives, paying particular attention to the devolution of powers to local government and legislation involving local authorities.

Relevant issues are raised through writing to and meeting with civil servants and politicians, as well as arranging councillor visits to frontline services.

We also highlight relevant government developments on social justice issues with frontline corps and centres to help them engage with local representatives. We also liaise with frontline services to gather primary data and information on our work which can be used as evidence in discussions with decision makers. 

Recent issues we have been focusing on include Public Space Protection Orders, NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans and the changes to Supported Housing. We facilitate ongoing visits to our homelessness shelters (Lifehouses) and other frontline services from councillors and local representatives. They allow local politicians and frontline centres to develop relationships, as well as providing the opportunity for The Salvation Army’s voice to be heard on our key policy areas.

2017 Local Government and Metropolitan Mayoral elections

The Local Elections mark a major turning point in the government’s devolution agenda, as in many areas throughout the country Mayoral elections took place for the first time following the successful agreement of devolution deals. The Public Affairs Unit has been monitoring the local elections and produced guidance encouraging participation. We produced a voter registration guide, a guide to running elections hustings and a guide to candidate visits for Corps, all of which were distributed to the frontline.