How do the major parties' manifesto pledges weigh up against SoA campaign asks?

6 June 2017

With the election just days away we measured the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat manifesto pledges against our campaign asks.

At the beginning of May, we published More than Just Words, a set of pre-election asks calling on the next Government to “support Britain’s cultural heart: with funding and legislation, with transparency and ambition”.

We've gone through the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos line by line to see how their promises sit alongside our own campaign asks, and we've published what we found in a manifesto round-up.

Supporting the creative industries

We were pleased to see strong commitments in all three manifestos to support the creative industries and UK culture. However, it’s a long road from manifesto pledge to firm policy, and an even longer one from policy to implementation, which means that much of what we have read is open to a wide range of interpretations.

Whoever pockets the key to Number 10 on Friday, we look forward to working with ministers and their teams to make the case for policies that will work best for individual creators, not just creative organisations.

Libraries and our new School Library campaign

However, we were very disappointed that one of the three manifestos failed to mention libraries at all, and none of the three expressed a clear line on school libraries or reading for pleasure.

For this reason - and in light of Chris Riddell's final statement this week as children's laureate - it is timely that we are in the opening stages of a campaign to call for a commitment from Ofsted to give weight to effective school library provision in their inspections.

Working with our members we will highlight the long-term value of school library provision to demonstrate that it is essential to a rounded education, not just an optional extra – and to make sure the benefits aren’t overlooked.

About the manifesto round-up

Our Manifesto Round-up is an overview of specific pledges that relate in some way to the issues our members have asked us to campaign on.

It isn’t an analysis of the credibility of the policies listed, nor does it aim to cover specific policy areas in their entirety. It should not be seen as a substitute for reading the manifestos in full and it certainly isn’t designed to influence your vote!

However, we do hope it provides a useful snapshot of each party’s approach to the cultural landscape, and how their manifesto pledges might affect authors working in 2017.