Updated: Apr 11
Election Day is 4 May 2023 (times to vote at polling station: 7am to 10pm)
ALL-IMPORTANT DATES TO ENSURE YOU WILL HAVE A VOTE
Deadline to register to vote: Monday 17 April 2023
Deadline to apply for a postal vote: 5pm Tuesday 18 April 2023
Deadline to apply for a proxy vote: 5pm Tuesday 25 April 2023
WHY 4 MAY LOCAL ELECTIONS 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 scientists and the UN announced at COP27 that global efforts so far are unlikely to achieve the goal of keeping temperature rises below 1.5 degrees. Our local 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:
Contact your local candidates - the final list is available after close of nominations on 4pm Tuesday 4 April 2023, 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!
INFO TO HELP FIND OUT YOUR CANDIDATES' VIEWS ON CLIMATE CHANGE
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?"
Fossil fuel investment: our taxes are used by the local council's pension scheme to invest more than £130m a year in oil, gas and coal (Tyne & Wear Pension Fund is used by six local councils and more than 300 local employers)
"How can my local council claim to reach net zero emissions in 2030 if its pension scheme continues to invest millions of pounds in fossil fuels until 2050?"
"What will you personally do to ensure the pension fund ends its investment in fossil fuels before 2030?"
You can ask candidates to sign a 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. All signatories are automatically added to this national website: https://www.divest.org.uk/elections-2023/
Please forward responses you receive (positive and 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.
Check out this local election survey of council policies by campaign group Divest Tyne & Wear: link here.
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?"
HOW TO FIND OUT WHO YOUR LOCAL 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 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!)
ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT MAKING SURE YOU CAN USE YOUR VOTE?
Remember: 2023 is the first 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
Please note: NORTHUMBERLAND does not have elections until 2024.
NO NEED TO STOP LOBBYING AFTER THE ELECTIONS!
Ask your Local Councillors to sign the Councillor Divestment Pledge. There will be several important elections in 2024 - find out their views well in advance!