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Vote Climate! 4 July GENERAL ELECTION

Updated: Jun 11

<<After two elections in May, campaigning is underway for our third - the General Election. 2024 is a bumper year to use our democratic power to shape the future. Our webpages cover General Election issues, key dates and our options for who to vote for. And the Mayoral and Local Election pages chart how we are following up, to ensure promises are turned into climate action. They're updated all the time - keep us in touch (contact@climateactionnewcastle.co) with new developments, queries and info. >>


This page includes General Election constituencies and issues, including boundary changes. Other "Use Your Vote" pages are:

  • Local Election follow-up: details here

  • Mayoral Election follow-up: details here

  • An archive record of key info on all three 2024elections - details here


ALL-IMPORTANT DATES TO ENSURE YOU WILL HAVE A VOTE ON 4 JULY 2024

  • Deadline to register to vote: Tuesday 18 June

  • Deadline to apply for a postal vote: 5pm Wed 19 June

  • Deadline to apply for a proxy vote: 5pm Wed 26 June

  • TIMES WHEN YOU CAN VOTE ON ELECTION DAY: 7am to 10pm. Remember your ID! - more info 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:

  • GENERAL ELECTION: demands for election policy commitments here, data about local areas here.

  • 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

And you can find data here about where you live, to help with questions for candidates.


HOW TO FIND OUT WHO YOUR CANDIDATES ARE:

  • Candidate nominations: use your postcode for a full list of all candidates in your constituency - link here.

  • 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!)

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, following a review of changes of population etc. The Boundary Commission website has a list of North East constituencies, a map and a copy of its report about this.


THIS GUIDE HELPS YOU TO HAVE A VOICE:

  • Sign up to be a "Climate Voter": info here on Greenpeace Project Climate Vote campaign, and how to order posters. 

  • Contact your local candidates - info below

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

  • Make your vote count!


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. Two vital issues for climate action and council pension funds were highlighted in Pensions Expert magazine (23 May 2024):

    • Surplus rules: "There has been much talk over the past 12 months about changes to surplus rules in the wake of the Mansion House proposals. The Labour Party has made it clear that it wants to carry on the current government’s reforms aimed at boosting UK growth, but so far surpluses have not been mentioned in this regard." Please lobby MP candidates to influence Labour policy to divert surpluses from fossil fuels investments to sustainable investments that will protect our futures.

    • Scheme consolidation: "This is a clear policy directive but may not be significantly affected by the election. Recent data from TPR indicates that consolidation is happening steadily, and the regulator has been clear on its desire to see “fewer, larger schemes”. The Labour Party has been clear on its support for consolidation too. In its plan for the financial services sector, it explicitly stated that it wanted to enable “greater consolidation of all types of schemes”. This means from 2025, decisions on how our local council tax and Tyne & Wear pensioner contributions will be made even more remotely and less influenced through democratic routes. It is urgent to use council influence while it is still possible.

Lots more info on the Divest Tyne & Wear campaign website


This is the pledge that local council candidates are asked to sign: “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 ask MP candidates to support this and encourage the councils in their areas to sign it. 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 campaign group Divest Tyne & Wear: webpage here. 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





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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1 Comment


Chris B
Chris B
Jun 05

Good article thanks

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