Mayoral and Local Election Day: Thursday 2 May 2024
ALL-IMPORTANT DATES TO ENSURE YOU WILL HAVE A VOTE
Deadline to register to vote: Tuesday 16 April 2024
Deadline to apply for a postal vote: 5pm Wednesday 17 April 2024
Deadline to apply for a proxy vote: 5pm Wednesday 24 April 2024
WHY LOCAL and MAYORAL ELECTIONS ON 2 MAY MATTER!
Our local authorities, including Newcastle Council, announced in April 2019 that we are in a climate emergency. Their climate plans aim to reduce the council’s carbon emissions to carbon neutral by 2030 - but the independently assessed Climate Scorecards suggest progress is far too slow (see detailed scores below). And scientists and the UN underlined at COP28 that global efforts so far are unlikely to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of keeping temperature rises below 1.5 degrees.
We also have Mayoral elections for an enlarged authority covering North and South of the Tyne - its budget will be £6 billion. Local newspaper report on background here, and this blog explains why transport and the regional economy are crucial issues. You can see details of candidates to be our next Mayor, below. Our local, Mayoral and national representatives have to act more quickly to switch to a sustainable future for us all. More 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!
Mayoral Elections: YOUR CANDIDATES:
Local Elections: HOW TO FIND OUT WHO YOUR CANDIDATES ARE:
Election literature: many households receive information on candidates through newsletters delivered to the house
This link will help trace information about candidates in your part of our local area: the candidates nominated, their party, contact details etc will be added after the deadline for nominations: https://candidates.democracyclub.org.uk/help/about NB not all candidates enter their personal contact info.
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
Below is a list of 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?"
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?"
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 councillors who are standing again to sign the divestment pledge:
“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.
Overall Climate Score for six local councils. This annual assessment is based on scores for separate sections (e.g. Waste, Transport). Covers 1st January 2019 to 31st March 2023
(Northumberland County Council: 26% - details here. As this council is not single tier, it is based on a slightly different scoring system than the previous five councils)
More info here. Free training on how to use the Scorecard is available. Climate Action Newcastle plans to develop our use of this, with a public accountability event later in 2024.
ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT MAKING SURE YOU CAN USE YOUR VOTE?
Remember: 2024 is the SECOND time we voters will be asked for ID cards. More info here.
NORTH TYNESIDE: phone: 0191 643 4270, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage: here SOUTH TYNESIDE: phone: 0191 424 7230, email: email@example.com, webpage: here SUNDERLAND: phone: 0191 520 5550, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage: here
TIMES WHEN YOU CAN VOTE ON ELECTION DAY
Times to vote at polling station: 7am to 10pm
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 Local Councillors to sign the Councillor Divestment Pledge - find out their views well in advance of the next election! The UK Divest campaigning group is happy to help you track down your councillor and send the message. https://www.divest.org.uk/act-now/