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Citizens Manifesto

Citizens UK Manifesto

The next UK General Election has been called for 4th July 2024!

Our diverse teams of community leaders across the UK are ready for this—they’ve been tirelessly campaigning for the changes they want to see. Over the last few months, they’ve been busy meeting politicians across all parties and sharing their experiences on the issues that matter to them.

We know that together we can create a better, fairer society. Let’s use our democratic power to make that happen.

Institutions: Our scheme can help you make sure your people are registered to vote. Click the button below to find out more.

Over the last two years thousands of people in communities across our membership have agreed on the most pressing issues to campaign on - such as paying workers a real Living Wage, preventing housing and homelessness, improving the pathway to British citizenship and more.

Our community organising method provides a way for people to focus on what unites us, rather than what divides us. We do this by listening deeply to the people in our communities, identifying what change we need to make things better and engaging decision-makers to make those changes happen.

Now, our 18 Citizens UK chapters have set out eight key issues we are asking the next UK Government to address. This Citizens UK Manifesto focuses on the challenges our communities are facing and amplifies the voices of people who are experiencing the issues first-hand. We share our vision for change and solutions that could make a difference and hope this Citizens UK Manifesto will contribute to shaping the political debate ahead of the next election.

Campaign priorities

A summary of our asks.

Living Wage Week 2023

Work and Wages

We call on the next Government to:

1. Ensure all social care workers in England are paid at least the real Living Wage, building on the example set by Scotland and Wales.
2. Embed and promote the real Living Wage and Living Hours through UK procurement and grant-making, supporting a race to the top where employers who provide the real Living Wage and Living Hours are recognised and incentivised with government contracts and grants
3. Strengthen people’s rights and access to predictable, sufficient hours, learning from the Living Wage Foundation’s Living Hours standard.

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Mental Health

We call on the next Government to:

1. Provide statutory counselling in schools and colleges across England for all children and young people, building on the example set by Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
2. Ensure high quality counselling provision that is sensitive to the child’s individual circumstances and background.
3. Enable NHS Trusts and local communities to work together to improve mental health.

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Pathways to Citizenship

We call on the next Government to:

1. Make acquisition of citizenship for people who have made the UK their home a guiding principle of the migration system.
2. Ensure children and families do not face destitution while on the pathway to citizenship.
3. Create a fit-for-purpose application system for settlement and citizenship.

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Welcoming refugees

We call on the next Government to:

Expand and simplify refugee resettlement schemes, with a focus on involving communities in the sponsorship and integration process, and giving more agency to hosts/sponsors and the people they welcome:

1. Set an annual target of refugees resettled of at least 10,000.

2. Build on our experience of the Homes for Ukraine and Communities for Afghans schemes to streamline the Community Sponsorship process, resource it more effectively to enable more people to become sponsors, and ensure it is accessible to eligible refugees of all nationalities.

3. Introduce ‘naming’ into Community Sponsorship, so that local communities can sponsor eligible refugees with whom they already have a connection.

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Housing and Homelessness

We call on the next Government to:

1. End child homelessness.
2. Unlock the potential for more affordable housing across the UK.
3. Publish a national home upgrade strategy which will make our existing homes safe and healthy as well as more energy-efficient.

Climate Justice Stock photo

Climate Justice

We call on the next Government to:

1. Publish a national home upgrade strategy which will make our existing homes safe and healthy as well as more energy-efficient.
2. Make public transport more affordable, reliable and accountable to the communities they serve.

Racial Equity in Education - APPG 2024

Racial Equity in Education

We call on the next Government to:

1. Review and reform the national curriculum to better represent the contributions of racially marginalised people to British society.
2. Support education professionals and institutions to address racial inequity, via the introduction of statutory training; recruitment, retention and progression measures; and updating safeguarding guidance.
3. Work with partners including schools, young people, parents, civil society and the Welsh Government to co-design the reforms and their implementation.

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Democracy and Devolution

We call on the next Government to:

1. Offer greater devolution of power and resources to nations, regions and communities across the UK.
2. Unlock the democratic participation of young people.
3. Introduce automatic voter registration across the UK.