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Use your Vote: GENERAL ELECTION 2024 (or even 2025!)

Updated: Apr 9

<<2024 is a bumper year to use our democratic power to shape the future. Our four webpages cover issues, key dates and our options for who to vote for. They're updated all the time - keep us in touch (contact@climateactionnewcastle.co) with new developments, queries and info. >>


Our UK General Election could possibly be on 2 May if called before late March - but it can be any date until early 2025. There are details below about constituencies and issues. Other "Use Your Vote" pages are:

  • Local Election Day: Thursday 2 May 2024 - details here

  • Mayoral Election Day: Thursday 2 May 2024 - details here

  • Summary of key info on all three elections - details here


WHY OUR UK GENERAL ELECTION MATTERS!

For voters who care about sustainability, about future generations and our environment, it is hard to imagine a more important election! You will be aware of extreme weather and temperature records being broken almost as soon as they have just been broken. Global temperatures are passing the Paris Agreement, yet - despite being a signatory - UK policies are not achieving change at the speed needed and in well-publicised cases, are being reversed.

The Friends of the Earth website covers many relevant policies:

  • SUSTAINABLE ENERGY POLICY: overview here, including the harm caused by lack of joined-up thinking about policies linked to energy demand and supply - resulting in high bills, profits for energy companies and cold homes for people in poverty (link here)

  • NATURE & WILDLIFE: information here

  • SYSTEMS CHANGE: fundamental improvements needed to achieve sustainable futures - info here


THIS GUIDE HELPS YOU TO HAVE A VOICE:

  • Sign up to be a "Climate Voter": info here on Greenpeace campaign.

  • Contact your local candidates - the final list is available after close of nominations on 4pm Friday 5 April 2024, but you can contact many of them before then. Ways to get in touch are listed below.

  • Quiz the candidates - see our suggested questions below (and send us your ideas to add to them!

  • Make your vote count!


General Election: YOUR CONSTITUENCY:

  • Find your constituency: put your post code into this parliamentary website

  • Changes to boundaries since last General Election: some constituencies have new boundaries or been merged with other local area, following a review of changes of population etc. To find out more, the Boundary Commission website has a list of North East constituencies, a map and a copy of its report about this.


General Election: HOW TO FIND OUT WHO YOUR CANDIDATES ARE:

  • Deadline for candidate nominations: until a General Election is called, there is no deadline and candidates do not need to have been selected. Once it is called, the deadline is 4pm on the 19th working day before the poll. As an example, if the General Election is called for 2 May, the nomination deadline would be 5 April.

  • Election literature: many households receive information on candidates through newsletters delivered to the house

  • Local news media: once the election is called, there will be coverage on all local news media (broadcast, newspapers, online services)

  • Some candidates may take part in local hustings – let us know if you attend any and whether you asked about climate change (and what the answers were!)


INFO TO FIND OUT YOUR CANDIDATES' VIEWS ON CLIMATE BREAKDOWN ISSUES

The guidance above about "Why this matters" prompts many important questions. Below are other supporter ideas for questions to put to candidates. To share more ideas, use "Lets' Chat" (right) or the message form (below)


  • Clean air and public transport – "Air quality is especially poor close to schools and major roads, affecting vulnerable people (particularly children), but bus usage continues to fall. What will you do to boost use of public transport, reduce use of cars and improve air quality?" (our Cleaner Air campaign has more information)

  • Protecting our green spaces – "The council has given the go-ahead to housing that threatens wildlife and plants in several precious green spaces. Why do council plans not target housing developments away from those areas?"

  • Rising energy prices and fuel poverty – "How will the council help people who need the most assistance to reduce their energy consumption, and reduce the impact of climate change on the most vulnerable?"

  • Stop UK subsidies for burning trees, harming forests and boosting profits of the UK's top greenhouse gas emitters - ask candidates to pledge to oppose subsidies for Drax (N Yorkshire) and Lynemouth (Northumberland). Full background on our blog, here. Recent coverage here.

  • Fossil fuel investment: our taxes are used by the local council's pension scheme to invest more than £340m a year in oil, gas and coal (Tyne & Wear Pension Fund is used by six local councils and more than 300 local employers)

  • Ask MPs to ensure pensions policy is updated to steer vital investment away from fossil fuels: our local Tyne & Wear Pension Fund invests more than £230m in oil, gas and coal, drawing on contributions from from than 300 local employers and payments made by local council taxpayers. Lots more info on the Divest Tyne & Wear campaign website

“If elected, I will do all I can to ensure the council pension fund ends investment in fossil fuels within the next five years and invests in a just transition to a zero-carbon economy.” 

Please provide them this link to complete the required form.

Please forward any responses you receive (positive or negative) to divest.TW@assembly.org.uk so that we and the Divest Tyne & Wear campaign group can publicise the results of your lobbying. We want as many voters as possible to see who has supported the pledge and who has not.

Background info about your council can be seen in a 2022 local election survey of council policies by campaign group Divest Tyne & Wear: link to homepage here (then please selected "Projects" dropdown). Since then, Gateshead Council and North Tyneside Council have written to Tyne & Wear Pension Fund with challenges to its current fossil fuel investments.


ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT MAKING SURE YOU CAN USE YOUR VOTE?

Remember: 2024 is the SECOND year we voters will be asked for ID cards. More info here.


NEWCASTLE: phone: 0191 278 7878, email: elections@newcastle.gov.uk, webpage: here

GATESHEAD: phone: 0191 433 7001, email: electoralregistration@gateshead.gov.uk, webpage: here

NORTH TYNESIDE: phone: 0191 643 4270, email: elections@northtyneside.gov.uk, webpage: here

SOUTH TYNESIDE: phone: 0191 424 7230, email: elections@southtyneside.gov.uk, webpage: here

SUNDERLAND: phone: 0191 520 5550, email: elections@sunderland.gov.uk, webpage: here

NORTHUMBERLAND: Elections Office - phone: 01670 624811 email: Elections@northumberland.gov.uk webpage: https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/elections.aspx


TIMES WHEN YOU CAN VOTE ON ELECTION DAY

Times to vote at polling station: TBC


AND AFTER ALL YOUR EFFORTS TO GIVE CLIMATE ISSUES A VOICE BEFORE THE ELECTIONS, AND MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT, PLEASE DON'T STOP LOBBYING AFTER THE ELECTIONS HAVE BEEN AND GONE!

It's still valuable to ask your MP to sign the climate pledges and lobby on key policy issues - find out their views well in advance of the next election!

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