Don’t like how local politicians are running your neighbourhood? Annoyed with austerity cuts when other services seem to be getting additional funding? Want to make changes to your local council but don’t know how? Mary Beer, Barnard alum and Director of Marketing & Communications at SCHS (part of Girls Day School Trust) and a volunteer activist for literacy and library access in the London Borough of Barnet, is the person to ask. She led a successful campaign to save her north London library. Earmarked for closure by the council so the library could be sold for profit to developers - Mary refused to accept the decision. Using a combination of Freedom of Information Act requests, forensic accounting and social media, Mary saved the library.
Mary will tell her story with detailed explanations of how to make FOI requests, how to decipher the numbers and how to make the best use of social media.
What are the perils legally for citizen activists like Mary? Can they be sued in relation to social media posts? Daniel Taylor, founding partner of Taylor Hampton LLP, one of the most influential media law firms in the UK, is a highly experienced media lawyer who will explain what citizen activists and journalists need to know to keep themselves out of the courts.